It’s Not Uncommon to Have “Special Needs”

Did you know? 19% of Americans are classified as a person with a disability. That equals the population of the states of FL and CA combined.  Recent data also indicates the number and percentage of Americans with a disability is on the rise.

If you are a parent, teacher, youth minister, or just anyone who works with children (or adults), you might find these statistics fascinating. Next time you get frustrated when a fidgety child won’t sit still and listen, or a student won’t look you in the eye, think twice before assuming they are just being disobedient. These stats tell a different story about what’s going on in our children’s minds. (Source: The Inclusive Church).

  • 7% of children ages 3 – 17 have ADHD.  11% of boys, 4% of girls (1)
  • 8% of children ages 3 – 17 have a learning disability.  10% boys, 6% girls (1)
  • 10% of children have an anxiety disorder. (2)
  • 13% of children ages 13 – 17 have a developmental disability (ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism). (3)
  • 41% of children with a developmental disability have multiple disabilities (4)
  • 17% of Americans will experience a communication disorder at some point in their life, which includes sensing, interpreting and responding (i.e. auditory processing disorder).  (5)
  • 1 in 110 children have an autism spectrum disorder.  1/70 boys, 1/315 girls. (6)
  • 1.6 % of children will receive an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) diagnosis at some point in their lives.  2.6% boys. (7)
  • 37.5% of individuals who receive an ASD diagnosis will go on to lose that diagnosis. (7)
  • 41% of people with an autism spectrum disorder have an intellectual disability (which means that 59% do not necessarily have an intellectual disability). (3)
  • 19% of Americans are classified as a person with a disability, which equals the population of the states of FL and CA combined.   Both the number and percentage of Americans with a disability has risen in recent years.  (8) 

Reach out. Encourage. Understand. And you will find a way to connect with another soul.

Read Amy Fenton Lee’s original post at http://theinclusivechurch.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/just-the-facts-special-needs-statistics/.

(1)    www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_234.pdf (page 5)

(2)    www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/children-s-mental-health/children-s-mental-health-statistics

(3)    www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

(4)    archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/163/1/19

(5)    www.nidcd.nih.gov/StaticResources/about/plans/strategic/FY2009-2011NIDCDStrategicPlan.pdf

(6)    www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5810a1.htm

(7)    www.theautismnews.com/2009/08/11/autism-rate-now-at-one-percent-of-all-us-children/

 (8)    www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb08-185.html

3 thoughts on “It’s Not Uncommon to Have “Special Needs”

  1. Thank you so much for addressing the topic of special needs children. I have several students in my youth ministry classes that have disabilities, and at first, it was a challenge. However, with the growing amount of resources especially focused towards teaching children with disabilities, I feel that I have a good grasp on special needs kids. You give some great information—thanks again!

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