It may come as disturbing news that 10.8 percent of New Jersey’s children between the ages of 2 and 17 have had one or more emotional, behavioral or developmental conditions, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health. Still, New Jersey’s rate is lower than the nation’s overall, which was 11.3 percent.
The seven conditions in the 2007 study were ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, ODD/conduct disorder, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay and Tourette syndrome.
Boys in their teenage years are particularly at risk: 15.6 percent of boys in New Jersey were found to have one of the aforementioned conditions, as opposed to 5.7 percent of girls. As a group, 13.7 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 years were reported to have one of the conditions, while only 10.8 percent of children between six and 11 years were cited with one of these conditions.
Once a child has been diagnosed with one of the conditions, 41.5 percent are diagnosed with one or more additional conditions. Less than half of the children (40.6 percent) received mental health treatment or counseling; 46.3 percent received coordinated, ongoing and comprehensive care within a medical home, which is defined as a medical practice that tracks a patient’s health.