Proportion of population aged under 20 years with longstanding illness or disability by sex, Great Britain
Slightly higher proportions of boys (19 per cent) than girls (17 per cent) aged under 20 years reported having a mild disability in 2000. Rates of severe disability were consistently higher for boys than girls with 11 per 10,000 of the male population and five per 10,000 of the female population aged under 17 years in 2000.
The most common condition reported among under 20-year-olds with a longstanding illness or disability was asthma with 42 per cent of total impairments in 2000. From 1990 to 1998, mental handicap (a term used by Family Fund Trust) was the predominant disability condition among severely disabled children and adolescents. In 1999 and 2000 the predominant disability conditions among severely disabled children and adolescents were autistic spectrum disorders and behavioural disorders.
The distribution of children and adolescents with mild disabilities was higher for those from semi-skilled manual and unskilled manual backgrounds. The highest prevalence rates of severe disability in children and adolescents were among those from semi-skilled manual backgrounds.
Proportion of young people undertaking sports frequently (10 times or more) in school
Disabled children and adolescents (37 per cent) were more likely to participate in swimming in school than the general population (30 per cent). Swimming was also the most popular sporting activity undertaken by disabled children and adolescents out of school. Horseriding was another sporting activity more frequently participated in, during school time, by disabled children and adolescents (six per cent) than the general population of young people (one per cent).
In 2001, disabled children and adolescents cited lack of money (37 per cent) and unsuitability of local sports facilities (37 per cent) as some of the reasons for experiencing difficulties in accessing leisure facilities out of school.
Sources: General Household Surveys 1990-1996, 1998, 2000, Office for National Statistics Family Fund Trust Finch N (2001) Young People with a Disability and Sport, Sport England MORI (2001) Young People and Sport in England: National Survey 1999, Sport England
Mild disability is the term used to represent longstanding illness and disability referred to in the General Household Survey.