Rankings table from new WUSTL study

Cost of raising a child with special needs: Where does your state rank?

In a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, Paul T. Shattuck, Ph.D., professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, found that families with similar demographics and nature of their children’s special needs have different out-of-pocket health expenditures depending on the state in which they live. “This is one of the few studies that focuses on families’ costs when caring for children with special needs, rather than the overall cost for society as a whole,” he says. Shattuck notes that wealthier states tend to have a lower average extra cost for caring for a child with special needs. “At the low end, families in Massachussets paid an average of $560 for out-of-pocket medical expenses,” he says. “At the high end, families in Georgia shouldered an average of $970 in additional care expenses.”
Editor’s note: A complete rankings table is available.