In the absence of nationally representative data on the prevalence of disability among children, a special analysis of relevant data in the General Household Survey (GHS) was carried out. A long-standing illness, disability or infirmity was present in 7.6% of the children under 16 in the 1974 sample of the GHS. An assessment of the extent to which the children were disabled resulted in 10% of the children being classified as severe, 29% as moderate, and 61% as mild. About half of the children classified as severe had a congenital anomaly or suffered from a mental disorder. Prevalence rates for specific conditions were compared with those obtained in other studies. Compared with all children in the survey, significantly more of the severely and moderately disabled children were boys than girls, and significantly more came from the skilled manual socioeconomic groups. The proportion of lone parent families was not significantly different from that in the overall sample.
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