There are significant disparities between individuals with and without developmental disabilities in health status, health care quality, utilization, access to care, and unmet healthcare needs. A telephone survey found that children and older adults with developmental disabilities experienced the greatest disparities in unmet healthcare needs.
Fourteen percent of children 0-18 years of age with developmental disabilities reported problems getting needed care, compared to 2 percent of children without developmental disabilities. Among adults age 65 and older, 50 percent of those with developmental disabilities reported one or more unmet health care needs, compared to 17 percent of those without such disabilities. The authors call for medical schools to incorporate specific training in developmental disabilities into their curricula in order to help reduce health care disparities.