Children's relationships with their peers are an important aspect of their daily lives, and their ability to maintain these relationships is critical to their social and emotional development. For some children with special health care needs, health conditions can impede social relationships.
Among CSHCN aged 6-17, 15.9 percent of parents reported that their children's conditions interfered with their ability to make friends. Making and keeping friends was most difficult among children with more complex service needs, of whom 24.7 percent had difficulty making friends due to health conditions. Among those with less complex service needs, only 2.2 percent had difficulty making friends because of their health conditions.
Among CSHCN with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions, 29.6 percent had trouble making friends, compared to 3.9 percent of CSHCN without these conditions.The proportion of all CSHCN who had trouble making friends ranged across states from 9.5 percent to 31.2 percent.