This study demonstrates the utility of integrating birth certificate record data with an existing disability-tracking database for the purpose of evaluating early identification efforts. The authors examined referral rates of preschool-age children for several known disability risk factors. Low birthweight, low maternal education, and prematurity were associated with increased odds of referral. The authors also examined referral rates for gender, race, and ethnicity. The odds of referral for boys were nearly twice those for girls. Compared to White children, the odds of referral were greater for Native American children and lower for Black and Asian/Pacific Island children. Odds of referral for non-Hispanic/non-Haitian children were greater than those for Hispanic or Haitian children. Identifying factors that are associated with the likelihood of referral will alert clinicians, parents, teachers, and policy makers to the existence of biasing factors and can be used to further improve Child Find procedures.
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