Optimizing the environment for children with disabilities – supporting families, improving social circumstances

Spencer, N.J. (2013) International Congress of Pediatrics, Melbourne, Australia, 24 - 29 August 2013 [ONS LS]

Other information:

Aims: To consider the social circumstances of children with disabilities globally and policies to support families and improve their circumstances

Methods: The presentation will draw on the World Report on Disability (WRD) and two systematic reviews to illustrate the social circumstances of children with disabilities globally. The role of poverty and low socio-economic status (SES) as both cause and consequence of childhood disability will be discussed using data from low income countries and research from the UK and Australia. Global policy challenges will be considered in a rights perspective.

Results: According to the WRD, children living in poor households in low and middle income countries are at high risk of disabilities. Of the studies identified in a narrative systematic review of the household circumstances of children with disabilities in low and middle income countries, the majority showed a higher risk among poorer households. A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in high income countries linking low SES with childhood disability found a pooled odds for all cause chronic disabling conditions by low SES of 1.71(95%CI 1.41,2.04). Studies based on UK and Australian longitudinal datasets support the role of low SES in the causal pathway to disability. To ensure the right of disabled children to a standard of living that meets their physical and mental needs, major policy changes will be required in rich and poor countries alike.

Conclusion: There is now powerful evidence for the role of poverty and low SES in childhood disability globally implying major policy challenges

Available online: Link
Output from project: 30116


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