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AbuseandDisabilityStatus:AComparisonofPrevalenceRates andTreatmentAccessAmongChildrenWithandWithoutDisabilities

KearaConway,Psy.D.,PatriciaMazzullo,SeanRichards,LisaKatz,LMSW,BethReiman,LCSW
LeadershipEducationandNeurodevelopmental andrelatedDisabilities(LEND) Program WestchesterInstituteforHumanDevelopment andNewYorkMedicalCollege

Background
Maltreatment has been identified as a significant issue for children with developmental disabilities. Despite this increased risk, there is a limited amount of research in this area. This study seeks to provide a current picture of abuse rates of children with developmental disabilities seen at the Westchester County Childrens Advocacy Center (CAC).

Methods
- Quantitative analyses were conducted on data from NCA Trak pertaining to the Westchester CAC, collected from January 2010 to June 2011. - Qualitative interviews were conducted with community liaisons to clarify concerns of abuse identification in children with disabilities, along with trauma therapy in this population.

ResultstoDate
-

PrincipleConclusions
Children without disabilities had a higher frequency of physical abuse, but CWDs were more frequently sexually abused. However, a majority of the children seen for physical abuse were under 2, and less likely to have undergone formal developmental assessments. There was a higher percentage of females without disabilities who were sexually abused, in comparison to females with disabilities. For males, those with disabilities experienced a higher frequency of sexual abuse, compared to typically developing males. CWD were referred for mental health services at close to the rate of children without disabilities, but were actually receiving services at a higher rate at 3 months, in comparison to children of typical development.

ReferraltoMentalHealthServices?
P e r c e n t a g e
60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Yes No Refused AlreadyHave Unknown Disability NoDisability Unknown

ProblemStatement
Despite the fact that children with disabilities (CWD) are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse, they are less likely to receive appropriate mental health services, post abuse.

DescriptionofCollaborationwith CommunityPartners
Westchester Jewish Community Services - Liane Nelson, Ph.D., Norma Littman, & Cynthia Infante

DemographicData
Characteristics Gender Females Males Ethnicity Caucasian African American Hispanic/Latino Asian/Pacific Islander Other Undisclosed Age of Child 0-2 years 3-6 years 7-12 years 13-18 years Type of Abuse Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse
Note: N = 494

Hypotheses
1. There is a higher prevalence of abuse among children with disabilities in comparison to children of typical development. 2. The prevalence of sexual abuse is higher for girls with disabilities than boys with disabilities. 3. Children with developmental disabilities who are referred for mental health services are less likely to receive these services in comparison to children of typical development.

Children without Children with Disabilities Disabilities N = 358 % N = 118 % 270 88 62 90 155 0 51 0 80 100 92 86 80 278 75.4% 24.6% 17.3% 25.1% 43.3% 0% 14.2% 0% 22.3% 27.9% 25.7% 24% 22.3% 77.7% 78 40 19 35 43 2 18 1 17 29 34 38 17 101 66.1% 33.9% 16.1% 29.7% 36.4% 1.7% 15.3% 0.8% 14.4% 24.6% 28.8% 32.2% 14.4% 85.6%

Unknown Disability Status N =18 % 14 4 2 5 8 0 3 0 2 4 3 9 1 17 77.8% 22.2% 11.1% 27.8% 44.4% 0% 16.7% 0% 11.1% 22.2% 16.7% 50% 5.6% 94.4%

ReferraltoMHS?

ChildConnectedtoMHSServicesat3Months?
P 60 e r c e n t a g e
50 40 30 20 10 0
Connected Notconnected Connected, otherservice UNK Disability NoDisability Unknown

NextSteps
Westchester CAC changed collection protocols for obtaining disability status. Parents now provide this information including specific disability type as reported by NCA. Better follow-up on referral and receipt of services needs to occur, as the unknowns are skewing the data. Determining the availability and efficacy of services for children with disabilities in the community.

MHSConnectionStatus