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Epilepsy and school performance: the influence of teacher factors and seizure control on children with epilepsy

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Epilepsy is a chronic illness impacting the lives of over 300,000 children nationally. Sexson and Madan-Swain offer a theory that addresses successful school reentry in children that are chronically ill.

Epilepsy is a chronic illness impacting the lives of over 300,000 children nationally. Sexson and Madan-Swain offer a theory that addresses successful school reentry in children that are chronically ill. Their theory posits that successful school reentry is influenced by school personnel with appropriate attitudes, training experiences, and by factors relating to the child's illness. The parents of 74 students, between second and twelfth grades, completed a questionnaire addressing their child's epilepsy and their current level of seizure control. Each child's homeroom teacher also completed a survey regarding their training experiences about epilepsy and their attitudes towards individuals with epilepsy. Additional information was gathered from the child's school regarding attendance rates, most recent Terra Nova test scores (a group achievement test), and special education enrollment status. Data were analyzed via four multiple regression analyses and one logistic regression analysis. It was found that seizure control was a significant predictor for attendance, academic achievement (i.e., mathematics, writing, and reading), and special education enrollment. Additionally, teachers' attitudes towards epilepsy were a significant predictor of academic achievement (writing and reading) and special education enrollment. Teacher training experience was not a significant predictor in any of the analyses.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Factors influencing teacher-driven parent-teacher communication about students with epilepsy

Description

Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological condition in children and can have a significant negative impact on education. The current study aimed to examine factors that may influence the

Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological condition in children and can have a significant negative impact on education. The current study aimed to examine factors that may influence the likelihood that a teacher will contact the parents of a student with epilepsy for information regarding the disorder and its impact within the school environment. Specific variables of interest included teacher knowledge about epilepsy and confidence when teaching at student with epilepsy, parent perceived knowledge about epilepsy, and parent socio-economic status. Variables were assessed through the previously developed Teacher Epilepsy Knowledge and Confidence Scales (TEKCS) as well as case vignettes. Overall findings suggest that teachers provided with a letter from a parent of a student with epilepsy are highly likely to contact the parent for more information regardless of the above mentioned factors. Additional supplemental analyses replicated previous findings indicating that special education teachers and teachers currently teaching a student with epilepsy possess more knowledge and confidence than general education teachers and those teachers who are not currently instructing a student with epilepsy. In addition, this study also examined the specific types of information teachers sought from parents. Study limitations, implications for practice, and future research directions are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Parent-teacher communication concerning epilepsy: to disclose or not to disclose

Description

ABSTRACT Epilepsy is a neurological condition that sometimes pervades all domains of an affected child's life. At school, three specific threats to the wellbeing of children with epilepsy

ABSTRACT Epilepsy is a neurological condition that sometimes pervades all domains of an affected child's life. At school, three specific threats to the wellbeing of children with epilepsy exist: (1) seizure-related injuries, (2) academic problems, and (3) stigmatization. Unfortunately, educators frequently fail to take into account educationally-relevant epilepsy information when making important decisions. One possible explanation for this is that parents are not sharing such information with teachers. This study surveyed 16 parents of children with epilepsy in order to determine the rate at which they disclosed the epilepsy diagnoses to their children's teachers, as well as the difficulty with which they made the decision to disclose or withhold such information. In addition, the relationships between such disclosure and parent-participants' perceptions of the risks of epilepsy-related injuries, academic struggles, and stigmatization at school were examined. Results indicate that all participants disclosed their children's epilepsy diagnoses to their children's teachers, and most (69%) reported that making this decision was "very easy." There were no statistically significant associations between disclosure and any of three parental perception variables (perceptions of the threats of injury, academic problems, and stigmatization at school). Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011