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Children with Special Health Care Needs

Narrative

The National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) asks parents about the types of chronic health conditions experienced by their children and how these conditions impact both the child and their family. These chronic conditions include developmental difficulties such as Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder, seizure disorders such as epilepsy, mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and other conditions which have lasted, or are expected to last, 12 or more months. Among CSCHN, the conditions (from a list of 20 specific conditions) that children are most commonly reported to have are allergies, asthma, ADD/ADHD, and developmental delay. Co-morbidities are common, as more than half of all CSHCN experience more than one chronic condition. In the 2009/2010 NS-CSHCN, 28.0 percent of all CSHCN reported 2 conditions, while an additional 29.1 percent of CSHCN reported 3 or more conditions.

The impact of these conditions on the child varies by a number of factors. In general, CSHCN are as likely to participate in organized activities, volunteer and work for pay as those children without special health care needs; however, children with functional limitations experience additional barriers to participation.1 The parents of over one-third of CSHCN reported that in the past 12 months their child's condition never affected the child's ability to do the things that other children could do. A consistent barrier, where the condition always limited the child, was reported for 15.3 percent of CSHCN.

CSCHN who only require prescription medication to care for their condition are the least likely to experience a great deal of difficulty doing the things that other children can do (5.1 percent) as compared to children who require additional services (13.6 percent) or who have a functional limitation (40.9 percent). Only 10.7 percent of CSHCN who have a functional limitation experience "very little" difficulty in participation.

1 Houtrow A, Jones JR, Ghandour R, Strickland B, Newacheck P. Participation of Children with Special Health Care Needs in School and the Community. Academic Pediatrics. 12(4): 326-34

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

children with special health care needs

This image is described in the Data section.

children with special health care needs

Data

Number of Health Conditions* Reported for CSHCN
Number of Reported Conditions* Percent of CSHCN
*Of 20 addressed in the survey. Because CSHCN status is determined by the presence of health-related impacts rather than a specific diagnosis, children may have a special health care need without having been diagnosed with one of the 20 conditions parents were asked about on the survey.
Source: Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health. 2009/2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs . Accessed: 9/9/2012.
No Conditions Reported 12.3
1 Condition Reported 30.6
2 Conditions Reported 28.0
3 or More Conditions Reported 29.1
Degree to Which Special Health Care Need Affects the Child's Ability to Do Things, by Type of Special Health Care Need, 2009-10
Type of Special Health Care Need Percent of Children
Very Little Some A Great Deal
Source: Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health. 2009/2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs . Accessed: 9/9/2012.
Needs Prescription Medications 63.1 31.8 5.1
Needs Services 38.9 47.5 13.6
Needs Services and Prescription Medications 36.5 51.8 11.7
Has Functional Limitations 10.7 48.5 40.9