Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities

Article excerpt

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), founded in 1930, and its member pediatricians dedicate efforts and resources to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The AAP has approximately 55,000 members in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Members include pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists. Almost 35,000 members of the Academy are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and are called Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). Detailed information about the Academy is available on the AAP web site at


The mission of the AAP is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. To this purpose, the AAP and its members dedicate their efforts and resources.

Structure and Governance:

The AAP is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members who are elected by members in their regional districts representing all of the United States and Canada.


One of the AAP's major activities is advocacy for children in all areas of child health. The Academy also furthers continuing professional education of its members via medical education courses, annual national scientific meetings, seminars, publications, and policy statements from committees and sections; all of these mechanisms form the basis of a continuing postgraduate education program. Other major activities include research and public education, and concern for education of medical students and residents in training.


More than 40 committees develop many of the AAP's positions and programs. Committees have interests as varied as injury and poison prevention, children with disabilities, sports medicine, nutrition, and child health financing.

The Committee on Children with Disabilities:

The Committee on Children with Disabilities is the major policy making body of the AAP concerned with diagnosis, management, and the long-term outcomes of children with chronic diseases and disabilities. The Committee is concerned with the needs of children with disabilities and their families in the broadest sense, considering medical issues in addition to patients' functional ability, psychosocial adaptation, and vocational potential. The Committee also works with other committees of the AAP, such as the Medical Home Project and the Committee on Child Health Financing on issues related to the coordination and delivery of healthcare services for children who are technology-dependent and chronically ill.

What the Committee does

Most of the committee's work is expressed in the form of policy statements that are published in the journal Pediatrics. The Committee has been the primary author or a major participant in the writing of at least 29 policy statements addressing a wide range of topics related to children with disabilities, including pediatrician participation in early intervention services, autism, and the importance of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for children and adolescents. …

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