Predicting needs for special education resources for mental retardation from birth defects records

M. A. Brewster, R. S. Kirby, C. R. Feild, C. M. Cunniff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Planning of service delivery systems for children with special health care needs would be enhanced by knowledge of numbers of cases anticipated in defined geographic areas. A method is described for predicting numbers of children who will likely have mental retardation sufficient to require special education services, based on the birth prevalence of birth defects and clinicians' estimates of the likelihood of mental retardation associated with each specific birth defect. This method is applied to the 1980-82 birth cohort of a 28-county area of south and central Arkansas, and it is compared with special education enrollment data for children ages 6 to 8 in academic year 1988-89. According to this estimate, children with birth defects may account for 32 to 56 percent of the cases of mental retardation among 6- to 8-year-olds reported by the public schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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