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Special Needs Foundation: No statistics on disability in Cayman

The Special Needs Foundation told Cayman 27 national data on disability in Cayman does not exist, but says the Disabilities Council is working to resolve this.

In the absence of national statistics, the Special Needs Foundation estimates that 1400 children in Cayman have some sort of developmental disability based on international rates.

The rate of Autism spectrum diagnoses in the US is 1-in-59, and the Special Needs Foundation said Cayman likely has a comparable rate.

Is Autism on the rise? That’s subject to debate.

“Awareness is definitely much higher and when awareness is much higher, diagnoses and labels and identification are much higher so it appears as though incident rates are rising, it would be a large discussion to dissect whether that’s actually an increase in individuals with spectrum diagnoses or whether it is about awareness,” said Melanie Coffey of the Special Needs Foundation.

The Autism Society is now a partnership with the Special Needs Foundation, which serves more than 350 families of children with special needs.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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