Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Shannon Stewart

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Chloe Hamza

Joint Supervisor


Children and youth presenting with complex special needs (CSN) experience a variety of different developmental and health problems and require multiple services from a range of sectors throughout their lifespan. Despite the extreme vulnerability of this group, little is known about this population. The current study aims to enhance our understanding of the characteristics present among children with CSN by examining risk factors present amongst children and families referred for complex special needs funding. The project utilizes interRAI instruments to examine the combination of risk factors that contribute to the high level of needs of this population. The results from this study suggest that impairments in family functioning and challenges completing activities of daily living predict children most likely to be referred for CSN funding. This project offers several implications for clinicians regarding the unique characteristics that distinguish children and families at the greatest risk and provides recommendations for treatment planning and funding allocation.

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