Results from the Parent Interviews Are Available!

We have learned a wealth of important and useful information, including characteristics of students and families, educational supports provided at home, and involvement in students' education. This portrays a fascinating picture of students, their families, and their relationship with schools. In addition, the longitudinal nature of the study has allowed us to look for factors that relate to growth over a period of six years in these students' lives.

You can obtain more detailed information of our findings under the Info and Reports page as well as under the new Data Tables page. The information provided will help to improve schools, by informing the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Congress, state policymakers, parents, educators, and researchers about ways to improve educational services to better meet the needs of students.

We believe that parents will find many uses for these findings as they consider the progress their child is making, effective classroom and school practices, as well as promising approaches to improve learning and social adjustment.

Did You Know…

  • That 92% of parents expected their children "definitely" or "probably" to graduate from high school with a regular diploma, and more than three-fourths were expected "definitely" or "probably" to go on to postsecondary education after high school. Sadly, the evidence suggests that these expectations greatly exceed the rate at which students with disabilities actually graduate from high school (57%) or attend postsecondary school (14%)(NLTS2, 1990).
  • Age differences in expectations and family support were quite apparent, favoring younger students. For example, there is some evidence that as students grew older, parents' expectations were lowered, perhaps becoming more closely aligned with the reality of students' academic achievements. Family support of almost all kinds also was lowered for older students, with the exception of having a computer at home and using it for educational purposes. Reductions in family involvement in education as students age also is apparent in the general student population.
  • SEELS findings suggest that disability is not always an individual trait, but can concentrate in families. Approximately 39% of children with disabilities lived in households in which another member was reported to have a disability to affect another child (31%) than an adult (17%) in the household. Eight percent of children lived in households in which one or more adults as well as one or more other children also had a disability.
  • Very few children (3%) had parents who reported that they had had to change insurance plans or buy extra insurance because of their children's disabilities; 13% of children had parents who had encountered refusals by insurance companies to cover services or items related to children's disabilities. Such refusals were most common for requests for diagnostic services and for therapies, such as speech or physical therapy (4%).
  • Two-thirds of students were boys; however, there was a considerable range in the percentage of boys across the disability categories. For example, boys were approximately 56% of students with hearing impairments, mental retardation, and visual impairments, though they were 80% or more of students with emotional disturbances and autism.


Last Updated 07/07