In the United States today, 14 million kids under the age of 18 have special health care needs.
Rates of identified children range from a low of 14% in Hawaii to a high of 25% in Kentucky.
Children with special health care needs "have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services. Such needs are rooted in a range of conditions, such as Down syndrome, autism, speech impediments and emotional, developmental or behavioral problems.
Raising a child with special health care needs can be challenging for parents. Coordinating care and navigating health systems - both of which can involve a complicated network of doctors, teachers and community resources - can be both time- and energy-intensive.
Access more health data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center: