Author(s): Dekker MC, Koot HM
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence, comorbidity, and impact of DSM-IV disorders in 7- to 20-year-olds with intellectual disability. METHOD: A total of 474 children (response 86.8\%) were randomly selected from a sample of students from Dutch schools for the intellectually disabled. Parents completed the anxiety, mood, and disruptive disorder modules of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. RESULTS: A total of 21.9\% of the children met the DSM-IV symptom criteria for anxiety disorder, 4.4\% for mood disorder, and 25.1\% for disruptive disorder. Similar prevalence rates were found for children who screened positive or negative for pervasive developmental disorder. More than half of the children meeting the criteria for a DSM-IV disorder were severely impaired in everyday functioning, and about 37\% had a comorbid disorder. Children with multiple disorders were more likely to be impaired across various areas of everyday functioning. Almost 27\% of the diagnosed children received mental health care in the last year. Comorbidity and impairment in everyday functioning increased the likelihood of referral. CONCLUSIONS: Most disorders can be observed in intellectually disabled children. Impairment and comorbidity are high. The finding that less than one third of the children with a psychiatric disorder receive mental health care deserves attention.
This article was published in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy