Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


This thesis consists of a literature review of research on a potential correlation between a student's birthdate, age upon entry into kindergarten, and the potential need for special education services while in elementary school. Results were mixed on the benefits of delaying entry into school. While results appeared contradictory at times, closer analysis indicates that benefits depend on the individual, on the presence of a disability, the gender, and socio-economic status, and on when a student is born. Students born in the months directly preceding kindergarten eligibility are at a disadvantage when compared to those born right after the cut-off date, as indicated by higher special education referral rates. While no definitive answer is possible to the initial research question, we have learned that while a relatively young age can have an impact on a student, delaying entry into kindergarten is not a fix-it-all, and while beneficial for some, it may be detrimental for others.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis