The information presented below is a brief overview of this state's special education support system. Please contact the state education agency or follow the included links for more detailed information.

Educational definitions of disabilities

  • Autism - consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Intellectual disability - consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder - consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

More detailed information is available at Florida eligibility.

Numbers of students with disabilities served

For the 2012 child count, Florida reported the following:

  • Autism - 24,549 students, sixth highest among disability populations
  • Intellectual disability - 26,758 students, fourth highest among disability populations
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder - 18,968 students, seventh highest among disabilities populations

Support service structure

Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services monitors and supports the special education services provided by schools. Regional support is provided by the Diagnostic and Learning Resources System. The Centers for Autism and Related Disabilities provide information and consultation for children and adults and their families.

Task forces

The Governor's Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorder submitted its final report and recommendations in March 2009.

Statewide disability clearinghouse

Autism Florida is a statewide online resource for autism-related issues.

Disability scholarship program

The McKay Scholarship Program is a school-choice program for eligible parents of children with disabilities.

Insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder services

Florida enacted legislation related to insurance coverage specifically for autism spectrum disorder-related services. See Florida insurance for more information.

TRICARE-approved applied behavior analysis providers

As of May 2013, Florida had 326 supervisors (direct service providers) and 715 tutors (assistants requiring supervision to provide services).

Parent training and information center

Florida has four parent training and information center agencies:

Secondary transition resources

Information and resources related to secondary transition in Florida is available at secondary transition.

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission

Florida is a member of the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission.

Special education resources

Information on available resources may be obtained from the local school district, the regional centers, and the parent training and information centers listed above. Additional information and resources are available at BEESS Resource and Information Center.

Military education resources

Information and resources specifically identified for military-connected families in Florida may be found at military education resources.

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