chapter  6
Utility of Current Diagnostic Categories for Research and Practice
Pages 24

One need only examine the Annual Reports to Congress to document that year after year an increasing number of children are being served in our public schools as learning disabled (LD). Between 1976-77 and 1992-93 the number of children served as LD nationwide increased by 198%; whereas, during the same period, there was a corresponding decrease of 41% for children with mental retardation and 15.5% for children with speech and language impairments (U.S. Department of Education, 1994). Commenting on the magnitude of the increase in prevalence of children with LD, MacMillan, Gresham, Siperstein, and Bocian (1996b) wrote: “Were these epidemic-like figures interpreted by the Center for Disease Control one might reasonably expect to find a quarantine imposed on the public schools of America” (p. 169).