One in six children has a developmental disability
According to a recent study, nearly 18% of children have a developmental disability. Researchers from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined data from the National Health Interview Survey to determine the prevalence of developmental disability among children today, ages 3 to 17 years old. They found that overall, the rate of disability has increased. In 1997-99, the rate was 12.8%. In 2009-11, the rate increased to 16.2%. In 2015-17, the rate rose to 17.8%.
From 2015-17, the developmental disabilities most prevalent were:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (9.5%)
- Learning disability (7.9%)
- Other developmental delay (4.1%)
- Autism spectrum disorder (2.5%)
- Stuttering or stammering, past 12 months (2.1%)
- Intellectual disability (1.2%)
- Seizures, past 12 months (0.8%)
- Moderate/profound hearing loss (0.6%)
- Cerebral palsy (0.3%)
- Blindness (0.2%)
Since 2009, ADHD prevalence has risen from 8.5% to 9.5%; autism has increased from 1.1% to 2.5%; and intellectual disability rates increased from 0.9% to 1.2%. According to the report, researchers attributed the rate increases to better identification of children with developmental disabilities, changes in survey wording and changes in diagnostic criteria.
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