Educational Information

Quick Facts: Children with Special Needs and Autism

Prevalence of children with special needs/ autism

Nearly 20% of U.S. children under age 18 years of age have a special health care need. About 1 in 59 children are estimated to have autism– 1 in 37 in boys. (US Maternal & Child Health Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Who are children with special needs?

Children and youth with special health care needs (CSHCN) “have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.” (US Maternal & Child Health Bureau)

What is autism?

Autism describes a different manner of thinking, communicating, and problem solving, often marked by a passionate focus on certain topics or interests. Autistic children may use eye contact differently and may exhibit distress behavior that comes from avoiding pain or sensory overload.

How do we best support children at-risk or who have special needs and/or autism?

Early screening, surveillance, and intervention can help children with special needs and autism by directing families to therapies that can improve quality of life.

Informational Videos on Autism & Other Special Needs

10 Early Signs of Autism

Autism - what we know (and what we don't know yet)