Academic underachievement among children with epilepsy: Proportion exceeding psychometric criteria for learning disability and associated risk factors

Philip S. Fastenau, Shen Jianzhao Shen, David Dunn, Joan K. Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study assessed rates of learning disabilities (LD) by several psychometric definitions in children with epilepsy and identified risk factors. Participants (N = 173, ages 8-15 years) completed IQ screening, academic achievement testing, and structured interviews. Children with significant head injury, chronic physical conditions, or mental retardation were excluded. Using an IQ-achievement discrepancy definition, 48% exceeded the cutoff for LD in at least one academic area; using low-achievement definitions, 41% to 62% exceeded cutoffs in at least one academic area. Younger children with generalized nonabsence seizures were at increased risk for math LD using the IQ-achievement discrepancy definition; age of seizure onset and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were risk factors for reading and math LD using low-achievement definitions. Writing was the most common domain affected, but neither ADHD nor seizure variables reliably identified children at risk for writing LD. Although children with earlier seizure onset, generalized nonabsence seizures, and comorbid ADHD appear to be at increased risk for some types of LD by some definitions, these findings largely suggest that all children with epilepsy should be considered vulnerable to LD. A diagnosis of epilepsy (even with controlled seizures and less severe seizure types) should provide sufficient cause to screen school-age children for LD and comorbid ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Fingerprint

Underachievement
epilepsy
Learning Disorders
seizure
learning disability
Psychometrics
psychometrics
Epilepsy
Seizures
ADHD
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Craniocerebral Trauma
Age of Onset
Intellectual Disability
academic achievement
Reading
Interviews

Keywords

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Epilepsy
  • IQ-acheivement discrepancies
  • Seizures assessment identification
  • Underachievement
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Academic underachievement among children with epilepsy : Proportion exceeding psychometric criteria for learning disability and associated risk factors. / Fastenau, Philip S.; Jianzhao Shen, Shen; Dunn, David; Austin, Joan K.

In: Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 41, No. 3, 05.2008, p. 195-207.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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