Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Special Needs

Young boy smiling and listening to musicBackground

The US Health Resources and Services Administration estimates that 1 in 5 children have a special health need and that number only grows as people get older and acquire more disabilities.

Many kinds of special  are not commonly understood or supported, like the sound-and-touch sensitivity many people on the autism spectrum experience, the chronic pain the children with cystic fibrosis or multiple-sclerosis endure, or the confusion and concentration issues students with ADHD experience.

Foster youth are up to 3x more likely than their peers to experience developmental challenges such as physical disability, difficulty remembering, or difficulty with personal care.

"Children with any type of disability are 3.44 times more likely to be a victim of some type of abuse compared to children without disabilities."(Sullivan & Knutson, 2000).
Findings from this study indicate that youth with disabilities have a higher average number of out-of-home placements and are less likely to have a concurrent plan for their permanency outcomes than their non-disabled peers.

The resources to the right will help give you context to understand what your advocate child may be going through, how it can intersect and be impacted by trauma, and how you can support your advocate child or youth as they journey through the world.

Have a question about this issue? Ask a Specialist.