Journal article

Trends in the prevalence and distribution of teacher-identified special health-care needs across three successive population cohorts

Meredith O'Connor, Elodie O'Connor, Jon Quach, Rakhi Vashishtha, Sharon Goldfeld



AIM: Some children's special health-care needs (SHCN) are formalised at the start of schooling (established SHCN), but a larger proportion start with difficulties that are milder or not yet diagnosed (emerging SHCN). This study explores whether: (i) the prevalence of teacher-identified SHCN (both overall and according to type of needs) and (ii) distribution across disadvantaged communities have changed over three successive population cohorts of Australian children. METHODS: We draw on repeated cross-sectional data from the Australian Early Development Census, a teacher-reported checklist completed on full populations of Australian school entrants in 2009, 2012 and 2015. It includes a measur..

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Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Personnel support for this analysis was funded by the Australian Government and was supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. S Goldfeld is supported by a Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship 1082922. J Quach is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE140100751). The funding bodies had no role in relation to the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication. This paper uses data from the AEDC. The AEDC is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. The findings and views reported are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Department or the Australian Government. There are several key groups to be acknowledged for their support of the AEDC, including all schools, principals and teachers across Australia that participated in the AEDC and each of the State and Territory AEDC Co-ordinators and their Co-ordinating Committees who helped to facilitate the AEDC data collection in their respective jurisdictions. The authors appreciate their time and commitment. The authors thank Dr Fiona Mensah (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit) for her consultation on the analysis approach.