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Childhood disability rate jumps 16 percent over past decade
Date:5/4/2013

-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; birth defect; injury or other developmental problem.

Researchers classified conditions into three groups: physical, neurodevelopmental/mental health and other.

Results showed that the prevalence of disability increased 16.3 percent from 2001-2002 to 2009-2010.

While neurodevelopmental and mental health-related disabilities increased, those due to physical conditions decreased. This trend was most notable among children under 6 years of age whose rate of neurodevelopmental disabilities nearly doubled over the study period from 19 cases to 36 cases per 1,000 children.

"The survey did not break out autism, but we suspect that some of the increase in neurodevelopmental disabilities is due to the rising incidence or recognition of autism spectrum disorders," Dr. Houtrow said.

The data also showed that children living in poverty experienced the highest rates of disability at both time periods but not the highest growth. The largest increase was seen among children living in households with incomes at or above 300 percent of the federal poverty level (about $66,000 a year for a family of four).

"We are worried that those living in poverty may be having problems with being diagnosed and getting services," Dr. Houtrow said.

Since the study could not pinpoint why the disability rate is increasing, more research is needed, she concluded.


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Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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