from ND COMPASS         
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
North Dakota's Children with Disabilities
Disability is an overarching and broad term, which can make it hard to truly define. Professionals and organizations use the term disability in a variety of contexts. Numerous disabilities can be identified as falling under the categories of health, physical, learning, psychological, and other cognitive impairments. Some people are born with a disability, while others develop the disabilities as they continue to age or obtain them as a result of an injury or illness. People of all ages, children included, must live with, cope, and adapt to disabilities on a daily basis.

In North Dakota,  the number of children, 0-4 years old, with one or more disabilities,   have fluctuated since 2008. The lowest number of children younger than 5 years old with one or more disabilities was recorded in 2013 (72 children, 0.2%); the highest number was recorded in 2012 (683 children, 1.5%). In 2014, there were 359 children under 5 years old with one or more disabilities, representing 0.7% of that population.  Of those youngest children 265 were affected by a hearing limitation and 94 by a vision limitation .

Similarly, the number of children, 5-17 years old, with one or more disabilities, has slightly fluctuated since 2008, from 3,286 children in 2008 to 4,868 in 2014. For this group of children, in 2014, limitations in cognitive functioning affected the most children (3689 children), followed by self-care limitations (744 children), hearing limitations (725 children), ambulatory limitations (556 children), and vision limitations (251 children). 
Although disability does not imply the incapacity to learn, work, or perform a task, sometimes children and youth with disabilities and special needs may require interventions and resources to remove environmental or social barriers. Like other children and youth, those with disabilities and special needs deserve a healthy and happy childhood and youth, such as living with their families, partaking in community events, and attending school, in addition to having the opportunity to become productive adults.

As children continue to age and develop, effective and appropriate education is an important resource for improving long-term outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and special needs. According to North Dakota KIDS COUNT, 13,675 children, between 3 and 21 years old, in North Dakota, were enrolled in special education, which accounted for 13 percent of public school enrollment in 2014. 

While the health needs of many children with special health care needs in North Dakota are being met, there are still families who need help navigating the system and providing the appropriate care and resources for their children. Therefore, the need for improvement of health care for children with special health care needs - through policy reform, programmatic development and implementation, and family advocacy - still exists. To help address this need, a statewide, non-profit organization,  Family Voices of North Dakota is striving to help families become better parents, advocates, professionals and educators. This month's For Discussion   article discusses the difficulties families who have children with special health care needs and disabilities may face and what Family Voices of North Dakota offers to those families.

Another program that aims to help Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) , in addition to women and children in general, is Title V. Title V is a partnership with Maternal and Child Health (MCH)  and state CSHCN programs, which reaches across economic lines to support core public health functions. The North Dakota Department of Health is responsible for the administration of programs carried out by Title V/MCH. Every five years, North Dakota is required by the Title V legislation  to develop a comprehensive statewide needs assessment, which requires ongoing sources of information about MCH status, risk factors, access, capacity and outcomes.  Read this month's Ask a Researcher column that focuses on the North Dakota's 2016-2020 Title V/MCH needs assessment. 
For Discussion
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs in North Dakota
Donene Feist,  Executive Director of Family Voices of North Dakota,discusses various obstacles families with children who have special health care needs encounter and what Family Voices provides for those families and communities.  

Ask a Researcher
Making change happen - Improving the health and well-being of all North Dakota infants, mothers, children, children with special health care needs and their families

Read More.
HAPPY NEW YEAR from ND Compass!

We wish you  success in making inspired impact and measurable progress  toward improving the quality of life in your community throughout the coming year
Pop Quiz - Children by Family Household Type
The household type that children (age 0-17) live in has slightly changed in North Dakota since 2006. What percentage of the child population lived in a married couple family household in 2014?

Data Notes

The U.S. Census Bureau just released new 5-year estimates at the city and county level for a number of key measures. The Census Bureau recently discontinued 3-year estimates, so going forward ND Compass will use 5-year estimates for much of our smaller area data in our topic areas. 
Updated Data

ECONOMY - Poverty
WORKFORCE - Proportion of Adults Working