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Sunday, March 23, 2014

25% of Mothers Wonder Whether Special Needs Evaluation is Needed for Their Child

From Disabled World
via Parents Magazine

March 11, 2014

"Parents Magazine study reveals one in four moms wonders whether a special needs evaluation is needed for their child. 76 percent of mothers of kids with special needs say that their school meets their child's needs."

Parents Magazine today revealed exclusive results from a study of moms of children with special needs and those whose children are typically developing, comparing their opinions on the health and happiness of children in their communities.

The study results are featured in a 20-page special report entitled, "Life in a Special-Needs World," in the April, 2014 issue of Parents.

"Nearly one in six children in the U.S. is reported as having a disability, and the most recent data shows that one in 88 kids has a diagnosis of autism," said Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of Parents. "As special-needs diagnoses become increasingly common, it's important that all parents better understand how their children are co-existing in our schools and communities. By sharing experiences, cultivating understanding, and maintaining an open dialogue, every parent can help kids of all abilities thrive."

The study's most enlightening findings included:

  • 15 percent of all moms interviewed believe children should be separated from peers in school based on a diagnosis. Opinion was similar regardless of whether a parent had a child with special needs.
  • 76 percent of mothers of kids with special needs say that their school meets their child's needs.
  • One in four moms of typically developing kids wonder whether their child needs to be evaluated for a potential developmental disorder.
  • 17 percent of moms of kids with special needs say children's conditions are over-diagnosed today, compared to 30 percent of moms of typically developing kids.
  • 89 percent of moms of kids with special needs say their children seem pleased with their social network, compared to 79 percent of moms of typically developing kids.
  • 73 percent of moms whose kids have special needs have talked to their children about people with special needs, while 81 percent of moms of typically developing kids have had that discussion.
  • 32 percent of moms whose kids have special needs will acknowledge another child's special needs with that child's parents, compared to 22 percent of moms of typically developing kids.

Partnering with Quester, a research company based in Des Moines, Parents Magazine interviewed nearly 500 moms of children ages 3 to 12, roughly divided between those whose kids have special needs and those whose kids are typically developing.


Parents used the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" – the federal special education law – as a guideline to define which diagnoses fell into the special needs group. These diagnoses included:
  • ADHD
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • developmental delays
  • disabilities such as Down Syndrome
  • epilepsy
  • hearing and vision impairment
  • behavioral/conduct disorders
  • arthritis and joint problems
  • physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

The study kicks off the special section "Life in a Special-Needs World," which includes real-world advice from parents on navigating the system; a father's perspective on managing a family when a member has special needs; an eye-opening tale of friendship and autism; a guide to forward-thinking vacation destinations that accommodate people with special needs in wonderful ways; and a photo essay showcasing kids with special needs alongside their family and friends.


Parent videos and family testimonials are available online and through the tablet edition of the magazine. The issue's cover features a pair of siblings who have autism.

For the full report and more information on the study, please visit: www.parents.com/special-needs

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