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ERIC Number: ED513190
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-8055-5
Recognizing, Differentiating, and Referring Students with Absence Seizures: What Factors Affect Preservice Teachers' Decision Making?
Nasewicz, Nicole
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy are common pediatric disorders that often occur co-morbidly. Both disorders predispose children to a wide range of school-related problems, some of which are the same and others vastly different. Fortunately, with early diagnosis and comprehensive disease management, the long-term sequelae of these disorders can be largely redirected. Diagnosing and differentiating between the disorders, however, can be remarkably complex. Diagnostic difficulties are particularly characteristic to the differentiation of absence seizures and ADHD-Primarily Inattentive Subtype (ADHD-PI), given that they present with subtle, overlapping symptomology. Teachers are among the most influential adults in the identification and management of ADHD and epilepsy in children. Unfortunately, teachers regularly fail to participate effectively in the diagnostic and evaluation process. Using a factorial survey design, 100 preservice teachers participated in this study to investigate (1) whether preservice teachers recognized absence seizures, (2) what characteristics predicted recognition ratings, (3) whether preservice teachers differentiated absence seizures from ADHD, (4) what characteristics predicted differentiation ratings, (5) whether preservice teachers anticipated initiating referrals for hypothetical children presenting with absence seizures, (6) what characteristics predicted referral ratings, and (7) whether preservice teachers anticipated making different referral decisions for hypothetical children presenting with absence seizures and hypothetical children presenting with ADHD? Overall, preservice teachers recognized absence seizures. Knowledge of ADHD, a respondent-level characteristic, and having received a previous diagnosis of ADHD-PI, a child-level characteristic, had negative effects on recognition ratings. Two child-level characteristics, having no recollection for what happened during the elapsed time and fluttering eyelids, had positive effects on recognition ratings. Preservice teachers differentiated reliably between unambiguous cases of absence seizures and ADHD. However, their proficiency declined when the disorders occurred co-morbidly. Only one respondent-level characteristic, referral efficacy, had a significant effect on differentiation ratings. Overall, preservice teachers anticipated initiating referrals for students presenting with absence seizures. Variance in referral ratings depended exclusively on respondent-level characteristics. Specifically, beliefs about the teacher's role and mean recognition rating had positive effects on referral ratings. In general, preservice teachers anticipated being more likely to initiate referrals for students presenting with absence seizures than students presenting with ADHD. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A