Parents Magazine Study Reveals One in Four Moms Wonder Whether a Special Needs Evaluation is Needed for Their Child

“Life in a Special-Needs World” Exclusive Report Explores Health and
Happiness of Children of All Abilities

New York, NY (March 10, 2014)Parents magazine today revealed exclusive results from a study of moms of children with special needs and those whose children are typically developing comparing their opinions on the health and happiness of children in their communities. The study results are featured in a 20-page special report entitled, “Life in a Special-Needs World,” in the April 2014 issue of Parents.

“Nearly one in six children in the U.S. is reported as having a disability and the most recent data shows that one in 88 kids has a diagnosis of autism,” said Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of Parents. “As special-needs diagnoses become increasingly common, it’s important that all parents better understand how their children are co-existing in our schools and communities. By sharing experiences, cultivating understanding, and maintaining an open dialogue, every parent can help kids of all abilities thrive.”

The study’s most enlightening findings included:

  • 15 percent of all the moms surveyed believe children should be separated from their peers in school based on a diagnosis. Opinion was similar regardless of whether a parent had a child with special needs.
  • 76 percent of mothers of kids with special needs say that their school meets their child’s needs.
  • One in four moms of typically developing kids wonder whether their child needs to be evaluated for a potential developmental disorder.
  • 17 percent of moms of kids with special needs say children’s conditions are over-diagnosed today compared to 30 percent of moms of typically developing kids.
  • 89 percent of moms of kids with special needs say their children seem pleased with their social network compared to 79 percent of moms of typically developing kids.
  • 73 percent of moms whose kids have special needs have talked to their children about people with special needs while 81 percent of moms of typically developing kids have had that discussion.
  • 32 percent of moms whose kids have special needs will acknowledge another child’s special needs with that child’s parents, compared to 22 percent of moms of typically developing kids.

Partnering with Quester, a research company in Des Moines, Parents magazine spoke with nearly 500 moms of children ages 3 to 12, roughly divided between those whose kids have special needs and those whose kids are typically developing. Parents used the federal special education law the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” (IDEA) as a guideline to define which diagnoses fell into the special needs group. These diagnoses included: ADHD; autism spectrum disorder; developmental delays and disabilities such as Down syndrome; epilepsy; hearing and vision impairment; behavioral/conduct disorders; arthritis and joint problems; and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

The study kicks off the special section “Life in a Special-Needs World” which includes real-world advice from parents on navigating the system, a father’s perspective on managing a family when a member has special needs, an eye-opening tale of friendship and autism, a guide to forward-thinking vacation destinations that accommodate people with special needs in wonderful ways, and a photo essay showcasing kids with special needs alongside their family and friends. Parent videos and family testimonials are available online and through the tablet edition of the magazine. The issue’s cover features a pair of siblings who have autism.

For the full report and more information on the study, please visit:

About Parents
Parents was founded in 1926 and, along with American Baby, FamilyFun, and Ser Padres, makes up the Meredith Parents Network portfolio of parenthood brands. Parents is the leading voice for a community of more than 15 million moms who are engaged and inspired by the brand’s trusted content. In turn, these moms enlighten and inspire others by joining ongoing conversations about parenthood via as well through Parents’ robust presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Parents is dedicated to engaging and inspiring moms with the information they need, wherever they go.

About Quester
Quester believes in being smarter, in solving puzzles, and understanding people to bring untapped knowledge to organizations. Employing psychiatric interviewing techniques, Quester’s technology guides respondents to tell stories that shed light to the human psyche. By conducting and linguistically analyzing hundreds or thousands of interviews at a time, Quester brings depth and confidence to a single phase of research. Integrating quantitative design and analysis brings the industry’s truest form of hybrid quali-quant research. Quester is a non-traditional research firm that marries the brilliance of linguists with the efficiencies of technology to deeply understand thoughts, feelings, opinions, perceptions, and experiences.

For more information about Parents, contact:
Meghan Heide at or 212.551.7072.


  • Quester

    Quester is an award-winning consumer intelligence firm that harnesses the power of human conversation, artificial intelligence technology, and expert marketing research design to yield superior understanding of consumers for clients.