How Much Does The Average 11 Yr Old Girl Weight Poverty and Children With Special Needs

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Poverty and Children With Special Needs

Poverty is one of the most pervasive conditions associated with children with special needs. Already generally recognized as one of the main factors correlated with a large number of social problems, poverty is in some ways such an umbrella that it leads to the question of whether it is a cause or an effect. On the subject, however, we can definitely state that poverty is an appropriate way to summarize the existence of a large number of contributing factors that make a family less likely to be able to adequately support a child with special needs.

Poverty as a causal factor

Parental poverty (lack of adequate money) can directly contribute to the birth of a child with special needs through a large number of direct physical stressors, including (but not limited to):

• Malnutrition: A malnourished fetus is likely to be born prematurely or with a low birth weight, both of which are definitely correlated with special needs diagnoses.

• Neglect: Poor parents are much more likely to neglect their children simply out of necessity, leaving them alone or with inadequate care so they can look for opportunities to pay the bills.

• Abuse: Poor parents are also much more likely to actively abuse their babies, unable to cope with the stress of caring for a child while struggling with money, and/or addicted to state-altering drugs of mood or mind that make them act. abusively

• Exposure: Obviously, homelessness or inadequate housing is much more common for poor parents, both of which can cause developmental problems for babies.

• Illness: Inadequate health care is one of the hallmarks of modern poverty; a child of poor parents is significantly more likely to have the early signs of an illness go unrecognized — or recognized and untreated — until the opportunity for prevention has passed.

In short, chronically poor families are much more likely to have children with special needs, and are also the least able to handle the stress of raising a child with special needs.

Single parenthood, poverty and special needs

A significant 8% of children born to two-parent families live at or below the federal poverty level. That statistic alone is unpleasant enough, but it’s important to note that over the past few decades, the percentage of children born to single mothers has skyrocketed to 38%, and a massive 32% of single-parent children live below the poverty line . This equates to an average of 22% of all American children being “born poor” and therefore at a significantly higher risk of being born with special needs, as described above.

In short, if we intend to seek a policy solution to the growing number of children with special needs overwhelming our schools, there is one obvious area to start: with the elimination of poverty. Recent efforts in Utah, as well as a significant number of experiments a few decades ago in Canada and the United States, have shown that we have the resources to do this, but not the political will.

The costs of children with special needs

According to a report titled Children in Cars in Poor Families, of 2,000 families interviewed who accept social assistance:

• 45% reported spending money out of pocket on specialty clothing, food, transportation, medicine, health care or childcare. The average cost for families reporting these costs: $143 in the previous month. These children were not necessarily considered to have special needs, but families did specify ‘specialised’ goods or services, implying that the generic offerings were not suitable for their children.

• The average family supporting at least one child with a moderate or severe disability had to devote enough time and effort to supporting the child who lost an average of $80 in work opportunity each month.

• Unless a family received SSI disability benefits for their child, out-of-pocket expenses that would otherwise have been covered by SSI reduced the family’s total effective income, so that 12% of families that would otherwise have been considered well off were placed below poverty. level

The effects of children with special needs on public assistance

Although there is public assistance targeted specifically at families of children with special needs, this section deals only with non-targeted public assistance of the kind generally available to families without such children. The same report found that:

• Families were more likely to receive help if they had a child with special needs, i

• This probability increased with each additional child with special needs, i

• It also increased with the severity of the disability suffered by each child.

In other words, precisely as one might intuitively predict, the more difficult it is to cope with a given set of children in terms of medical or social need, the more likely the family supporting that child will receive non-targeted public assistance. . Or, written more succinctly, having children with special needs causes families to qualify and seek public assistance.

In addition, the study found that there were only two significant fates for families of children with special needs who received welfare: either they left welfare but began receiving disability SSI or stayed on welfare. The effect of having a severely disabled child on public assistance dependency was twice the effect of losing a parent in the family, implying that the cost of a severely disabled child is higher than the income accumulated by a parent for a significant part. amount

We have now seen how poverty is a major cause of special needs in children born into poor families, and how having one or more children with special needs causes families to descend into poverty. The vicious circle here should be immediately apparent: being poor makes it more likely that you will have a child with special needs, which makes it more likely that you will remain poor for the foreseeable future. This is a problem that desperately needs a solution.

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