Academic Difficulties (academic + difficulty)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Do healthy preterm children need neuropsychological follow-up?

Preschool outcomes compared with term peers
Aim, The aim of this study was to determine neuropsychological performance (possibly predictive of academic difficulties) and its relationship with cognitive development and maternal education in healthy preterm children of preschool age and age-matched comparison children born at term. Method, A total of 35 infants who were born at less than 33 weeks' gestational age and who were free from major neurosensory disability (16 males, 19 females; mean gestational age 29.4wk, SD 2.2wk; mean birthweight 1257g, SD 327g) and 50 term-born comparison children (25 males, 25 females; mean birthweight 3459g, SD 585g) were assessed at 4 years of age. Cognition was measured using the Griffiths Mental Development scales while neuropsychological abilities (language, short-term memory, visual,motor and constructive spatial abilities, and visual processing) were assessed using standardized tests. Multivariable regression analysis was used to explore the effects of preterm birth and sociodemographic factors on cognition, and to adjust neuropsychological scores for cognitive level and maternal education. Results, The mean total Griffiths score was significantly lower in preterm than in term children (97.4 vs 103.4; p<0.001). Factors associated with higher Griffiths score were maternal university education (,=6.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.7,11.7) and having older siblings or a twin (,=4.0; 95% CI 0.5,7.6). At neuropsychological assessment, preterm children scored significantly lower than term comparison children in all tests except lexical production (Boston Naming Test) and visual-processing accuracy. After adjustment for cognitive level and maternal education, differences remained statistically significant for verbal fluency (p<0.05) and comprehension, short-term memory, and spatial abilities (p<0.01). Interpretation, Neuropsychological follow-up is also recommended for healthy very preterm children to identify strengths and challenges before school entry, and to plan interventions aimed at maximizing academic success. [source]

Academic performance in children with rolandic epilepsy

P Piccinelli MD
The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of reading, writing, and calculation disabilities in children with typical rolandic epilepsy (RE) and healthy control children. We also aimed to define the possible electroclinical markers of specific cognitive dysfunctions in RE. School abilities were evaluated and compared in 20 children (eight males, 12 females; mean age 10y 3mo [SD 1y 7mo]; range 7y 9mo-12y 9mo) consecutively diagnosed with typical RE, and a group of 21 healthy controls (nine males, 12 females; mean age 10y 4mo [SD 1y 8mo]; range 7y 6mo-13y 3mo). All the children received standardized neuropsychological tests. For each patient an exhaustive seizure diary was kept and all the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings were reviewed. Specific difficulties with reading, writing, and calculation (diagnosed according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition) were found in nine out of 20 children with RE and two out of 21 healthy controls (,2=0.01). The specific learning disabilities in the RE group were correlated with a marked increase in epileptiform discharges during sleep (,2=0.02) and an early onset of epilepsy (,2=0.02). Our findings suggest that seizure onset before age 8 years and epileptiform discharges (more than 50% of the sleep EEG recording) in several tracings over more than a year are relevant markers for identifying patients at risk of developing academic difficulties. [source]

Cortical auditory dysfunction in benign rolandic epilepsy

EPILEPSIA, Issue 6 2008
Dana F. Boatman
Summary Purpose: To evaluate cortical auditory function, including speech recognition, in children with benign rolandic epilepsy (BRE). Methods: Fourteen children, seven patients with BRE and seven matched controls, underwent audiometric and behavioral testing, simultaneous EEG recordings, and auditory-evoked potential recordings with speech and tones. Speech recognition was tested under multiple listening conditions. Results: All participants demonstrated normal speech recognition abilities in quiet, as well as normal peripheral and subcortical auditory function. BRE patients performed significantly worse than controls when speech recognition was tested under adverse listening conditions, including background noise. Five BRE patients who were impaired on two or more tests had centrotemporal spiking on awake EEG. There were no significant group differences in the latency or amplitude of early N100 cortical responses to speech or tones. Conversely, the mismatch negativity, a preattentive index of cortical processing that is elicited passively, was absent or prolonged for speech, but not tones, in BRE patients as compared to controls. Discussion: Children with BRE demonstrated specific speech recognition impairments. Our evoked potential findings indicate that these behavioral impairments reflect dysfunction of nonprimary auditory cortex and cannot be attributed solely to attention difficulties. A possible association between auditory impairments and centrotemporal spiking (>1/min) on awake EEG was identified. The pattern of speech recognition impairments observed is a known risk factor for academic difficulties in school-age children. Our results underscore the importance of comprehensive auditory testing, using behavioral and electrophysiological measures, in children with BRE. [source]

Psychosocial Adjustment Over a Two,Year Period in Children Referred for Learning Problems: Risk, Resilience, and Adaptation

Lisa G. Sorensen
Children with learning difficulties have an increased prevalence of psychosocial adjustment problems. We hypothesized that within the context of a risk and resilience model contextual variables influence adjustment, over and above any effects of academic performance. The Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) was used to evaluate the relationship between psychosocial adjustment, changes in academic skills, and contextual factors longitudinally over a two,year period in 100 children (ages 7 to 11) referred for learning problems. Although there was little improvement in academic skills, contextual factors contributed to observed psychosocial outcome. Different factors were salient for parents, teachers, and children. Context,derived vulnerability and protective factors can be important determinants of adjustment in children with learning problems, even though the academic difficulties can remain chronic. [source]

The influence of admissions variables on first year medical school performance: a study from Newcastle University, Australia

Frances Kay-Lambkin
Aims This study examined the relationship between the performance of first year medical students at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and admission variables: previous educational experience, and entry classification (standard , academic or composite, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, or overseas), age and gender. Methods Admission and demographic information was obtained for students who entered first year medicine at Newcastle between the years 1994 and 1997 inclusive. Academic performance was measured according to results of first assessment (`satisfactory' vs. `not satisfactory') and the final assessment of the first year (`satisfactory' vs. `not satisfactory'). Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between predictor variables and outcomes. Results Assessment and admissions information was obtained for 278 students, 98% of all students who entered the medical course between 1994 and 1997. Regression analysis of first assessment indicated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and overseas students were significantly more likely to be `not satisfactory' than all other students (RR=31,95% CI: 14. , 6 7 and RR=15, 95% CI: 12,18, respectively). Analysis of final assessment indicated these two student groups were also significantly more likely to be `not satisfactory' than all other students (RR=45, 95% CI: 14,135 and RR=35, 95% CI: 12,108, respectively). At first assessment, students entering via the standard academic pathway and older students were less likely to be `not satisfactory' (RR=06, 95% CI: 05,07 and RR=08, 95% CI: 07,09, respectively). However both these differences were not evident at final assessment. There were no significant relationships between performance in first year and the remaining variables. Conclusions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and overseas medical students had academic difficulties in the first year of the course, suggesting the need for extra course support. The result may reflect the educational and other obstacles these students must overcome in order to enter and progress through their medical degree. More research is warranted to explore the extent to which these differences persist throughout the medical degree. [source]

The hidden crisis in mental health and education: The gap between student needs and existing supports

Tina Malti
The authors provide a selected review of mental health and educational concerns evident in U.S. middle schools and describes promising and important strategies to ameliorate the high rates of students with mental health and academic difficulties. Despite some promising and important strategies, service systems are fragmented, and comprehensive systems of supports are still in development. Furthermore, there remains a lack of integrated developmental considerations in practice. The RALLY approach systematically introduces development and caring adult relationships into preventive practice and combines mental health, education, and youth development to promote students' resiliency and academic potential. [source]

A Framework for Understanding the Association Between Food Insecurity and Children's Developmental Outcomes

Godwin S. Ashiabi
ABSTRACT,Food insecurity, defined as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways, is still a problem in the United States. It is associated with poor parenting practices, poor health, and socioemotional and cognitive/academic difficulties in children. This review synthesizes some of these findings and suggest links among these outcomes. In this endeavor, it describes the concept of food insecurity and propose a mediational framework to anchor our discussions. Finally, it examines the implications of the review for research and policy. [source]