Inequality in School Readiness and Autism among 6-Year-Old Children across Iranian Provinces: National Health Assessment Survey Results|
Amiri, Masoud; Kelishadi, Roya; Motlagh, Mohammad-Esmaeil; Taslimi, Mahnaz; Dashti, Marziyeh; Aminaee, Tahereh; Ardalan, Gelayol & Poursafa, Parinaz
Objective: To assess the national inequality of school readiness and autism among 6-year-old Iranian children
before school entry using a national health assessment survey.
Methods: In a cross-sectional nationwide survey, all Iranian children entering public and private elementary
schools were asked to participate in a mandatory national screening program in Iran in 2009 in two levels of
screening and diagnostic levels.
Findings: The study population consisted of 955388 children (48.5% girls and 76.1% urban residents). Of the
whole children, 3.1% of the 6-year-old children had impaired vision. In addition, 1.2, 1.8, 1.4, 7.6, 0.08, 10,
10.9, 56.7, 0.7, 0.8 and 0.6 percent had color blindness, hearing impaired, speech disorder, school readiness,
autism, height to age retardation, body mass index extremes, decayed teeth, disease with special needs, spinal
disorders, and hypertension, respectively. The distribution of these disorders was unequally distributed
Conclusion: Our results confirmed that there is an inequality in distribution of school readiness and autism in
6-year-old children across Iranian provinces. The observed burden of these distributions among young
children needs a comprehensive national policy with evidence-based province programs to identify the
reason for different inequality among provinces.
National Health Assessment Survey; School Readiness; Autism; Children; Inequality; Iran