To establish the presence of children or youth with special health care needs, the National Survey of Children’s Health (2016) and National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (2001, 2005–2006, 2009–2010) asked parents the following questions:
- Does the child currently need or use medicine prescribed by a doctor, other than vitamins?
- Does the child need or use more medical care, mental health, or educational services than is usual for most children of the same age?
- Is the child limited or prevented in any way in his or her ability to do the things most children of the same age can do?
- Does the child need or get special therapy, such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy?
- Does the child have any kind of emotional, developmental, or behavioral problem for which he or she needs treatment or counseling?
In follow-up after each question, parents were asked whether the condition was expected to last for 12 months or longer, and whether the condition was due to any medical, behavioral, or other health condition. If the answer to one (or more) of the conditions was “yes,” and the answers to both follow-up questions for the condition(s) were also “yes,” then the child was considered to have special health care needs.
 Hispanic children may be of any race.