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Habilitation Service Utilization Patterns Among Children With Mild Intellectual Disability

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Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities

Published online on


Background There is a need for more knowledge about the utilization of habilitation services outside school among children with mild intellectual disability (ID). Specific aims. The aim of this study was to describe the patterns of habilitation service utilization among children with mild ID living in Sweden. Method A quantitative cross‐sectional total population study was performed using data from service providers’ existing records. Findings The most common types of services utilized were those by physicians, counselors, and psychologists. Compared with children with mild ID who were in special classes, children with mild ID who were integrated into mainstream classes utilized significantly fewer types of services. Increasing age of the child was associated with a lower number of service types utilized. Children integrated into mainstream classes were significantly less likely to utilize habilitation services than children attending special classes. The likelihood of utilizing habilitation services decreased with age. Approximately two‐thirds of the children utilized habilitation services. Discussion It is urgent that integration/inclusion in one organizational system, that is, school, does not result in exclusion in another system, such as pediatric habilitation services, which also aim to promote active participation in society. Pediatric habilitation professionals, teachers, and health units at schools need to interact in a manner so that children with mild ID, independent of type of school setting, have access to disability‐related services outside school.