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Seizure. 2005 Jul;14(5):331-9.

Factors associated with academic achievement in children with recent-onset seizures.

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Indiana University School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Drive, NU 492, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


Children with chronic epilepsy are more at risk for achievement problems than either children without seizures or children with other chronic disorders. Factors that lead to such problems in children with epilepsy, however, are not well understood. Exploring these factors is important because academic underachievement can lead to poor social outcomes and contribute to underemployment or unemployment in adulthood. This descriptive, cross-sectional study investigated a group of children who had been diagnosed with seizures approximately 12 months previously, providing the opportunity to describe relationships among family and child characteristics; parent, child, and teacher responses; and child academic achievement at the same point in time across the sample. Seventy-two children had standardized test total battery scores, 101 had a teacher's rating of performance, and 67 had scores for both. Data were analyzed using multivariable regression. Child adaptive competency and seizure severity were associated with higher teacher ratings of academic performance (beta=0.73, p<0.0001 and beta=2.38, p=0.0182, respectively). Child adaptive competency was associated with higher total battery scores (beta=0.73, p<0.0001). Contrary to findings in studies of children with chronic epilepsy, mean academic achievement in this sample of children with recent-onset seizures was in the average range; however, 25% of the children were at or below one standard deviation below the mean on the teacher's rating of performance and 10% on the total battery. It is therefore important for health professionals and educators to regularly assess the child's academic functioning and school performance to identify those at risk for problems. Health professionals and educators need to collaborate on assessment and interventions to help maximize child academic success.

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