ASD children 2.5 times more likely to be reported as abused

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17 Feb 2019, 2:07 am

Kids With Autism May Be at Greater Risk for Maltreatment

A new population study finds that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nearly 2.5 times more likely than their non-ASD peers to be reported to the Child Abuse Hotline by the age of 8.

Children with disabilities face greater rates of maltreatment, but little is known about the interaction of ASD children with child protection systems. To investigate this issue, researchers from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) looked at the entire population (11 counties) of Middle Tennessee residents born in 2008 and compared their records through 2016.

The data was collected through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. In it, 387 children out of the population of 24,306 were identified as having a diagnosis of ASD.

More than 17 percent of the children with ASD had been reported to the Child Abuse Hotline by 2016, compared to 7.4 percent of children without ASD. In addition, ASD girls were six times more likely to have substantiated claims of maltreatment than ASD boys.

The findings are published in the journal Autism.

Children with ASD may be especially vulnerable to maltreatment due to a variety of factors, including challenging behavior and complex cognitive and language impairments, more caregiver stress, lower levels of family social support and higher rates of caregiver isolation and dependence, researchers said.

Children with autism are also more likely to regularly work with a team of providers who may be paying closer attention than they would to children without ASD, though data from this study can’t confirm or deny these hypotheses.

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Joined: 17 Feb 2013
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

17 Feb 2019, 2:13 pm

Children with ASD may be especially vulnerable to maltreatment due to a variety of factors, including challenging behavior


I bet children with ASD are far more than 2.5 times likely to display anti-social or unacceptable behaviour that their parents or caregivers get frustrated with, hence getting a smack or w/e more often than well behaved children.

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