Abstract 15517: Receipt of Special Education Services Among Children with Congenital Heart Defects in Atlanta, Georgia
BACKGROUND: Population-based information on special education service needs among children with congenital heart defects (CHDs) is limited. We investigated the prevalence of receipt of special education services among children with CHDs.
METHODS: Children born from 1982-2004 in metropolitan Atlanta with CHDs (n=3,744) were identified from a population-based birth defect surveillance program, and contemporaneous children born without major birth defects (n=860,715) were identified from birth certificates. Cohorts were linked to special education files for 1992-2012 school years to identify receipt of special education services. Children with CHDs and non-cardiac defects or genetic syndromes were excluded; children with isolated CHDs were classified by presence or absence of critical CHDs (i.e., defects needing intervention in the first year of life). We evaluated prevalence of special education services and calculated prevalence ratios (PRs) using children without birth defects as reference.
RESULTS: Children with CHDs were 50% more likely than those without birth defects to use special education services (PR 1.5; 95% Confidence interval 1.4-1.7). Similar to children without birth defects, the most common eligibility among children with CHDs was speech/language impairment. Compared to children without birth defects, the prevalence of several special education eligibilities were significantly higher among children with all CHDs: any intellectual disability (PR 3.8), sensory impairment (PR 3.0), other health impairment (PR 2.8), significant developmental delay (PR 1.9), orthopedic impairment (PR 1.9), and specific learning disability (PR 1.4). For most special education eligibilities, there was no significant variation in the elevated prevalence ratios by presence or absence of critical CHDs.
CONCLUSIONS: Children with many types of CHDs received special education services more often than children without birth defects. These findings highlight important resource needs for children with CHDs. Furthermore, they suggest that recommendations to perform developmental screening only on children with select CHDs may miss or delay identification of children with other CHDs, who may also need special education services.
Author Disclosures: T. Colarusso: None. A. Andrew: None. H. Razzaghi: None. C. Boyle: None. W. Mahle: None. K. Van Naarden Braun: None. A. Correa: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.