A new survey carried out by researchers at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has found that the number of parents admitting that their children suffer from a physical, developmental or mental health disability has seen a rise over the last decade, especially among upper income families.
The researchers found that the number of non-institutionalized children under 17 years of age rose by 16 percent between 2001 and 2011, with the rate of increase highest among higher income families, whose income was 400 percent higher than the federal poverty level, at 28 percent.
The number of children suffering from neurodevelopmental or mental-health condition, such as ADHD or learning disabilities or emotional problems, increased by 21 percent while physical disability problems, such as asthma, hearing and bone or joint problems decreasing by 12 percent.
Lead researcher Dr Amy Houtrow said that one of the reasons why there was an increase of disabilities among high income families was that they had better access to health services. "We think one of the reasons that rise happened is, in part, because those children and their families have better access to achieving diagnosis and then treatment, so they have better access to health services", she said.