Report: School Absences More Frequent For Kids With Disabilities
Children with developmental disabilities are far more likely to be missing a lot of school, according to a new federal report, with those who have certain conditions at especially high risk.
Among kids ages 5 to 17, those with at least one developmental disability face twice the odds of being deemed chronically absent, a label given to students who miss 15 or more days of school within a single year.
The likelihood of qualifying as chronically absent increased with the number of developmental disabilities a child had, the report found.
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The findings come from a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. It’s based on data on over 26,000 children collected through the government’s National Health Interview Survey.
As part of the survey, parents across the country were asked if they had ever been told by a doctor or health care provider that their child had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, intellectual disability or other developmental delay. In addition, they were asked how many days of school their child had missed in the previous year due to illness or injury.
Reported absenteeism was highest among those with intellectual disability at 14 percent, followed by autism at 9 percent, developmental delay at 7.2 percent and ADHD at 5.2 percent.
The increased odds of absenteeism among students with these conditions persisted even when researchers controlled for demographics and other physical health conditions, the report found.
“These findings show that both the type and number of DDs are associated with school attendance,” the authors concluded. “In general, chronic school absenteeism may negatively impact long-term educational achievement, and this effect could be increased among children with DDs.”