Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN)
Definition of Children with Special Health Needs
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) are defined by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau as:
"those children who have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally"
This is a definition that includes many children generally not thought of as chronically ill, but who may suffer physical and emotional consequences from biological or environmental risk factors.
This includes prematurity as a possible biological risk and extreme poverty, child abuse/neglect or the presence of a caregiver with mental illness as examples of environmental risks.
The definition also includes children who need special education, early intervention or various family support services.