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Impact of an education program on parental knowledge of specific learning disability

Author(s): Karande Sunil | Mehta Vishal | Kulkarni Madhuri

Journal: Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 0019-5359

Volume: 61;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 398;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Dyslexia | educational intervention | parental perceptions | students

Background :A supportive home environment is one of the factors that can favorably determine the outcome of specific learning disability (SpLD) in a school-going child. However, there is no reliable information available on parental knowledge about SpLD. Aims :To investigate parental knowledge of SpLD and to evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on it. Settings and Design : Prospective questionnaire-based study conducted in our clinic. Materials and Methods : From April to November 2002, 50 parents who were conversant in English and willing to follow up were interviewed. After the interview, each parent was administered a structured educational program and re-interviewed after 3 months. Statistical analysis : The pre- and post-intervention responses were compared using Chi-square test. Results : After the intervention, there was significant improvement in parental knowledge of (i) the meaning of the term ′SpLD′ (32/50 vs. 50/50, P < 0.0001), (ii) the fact that remedial education given by a special educator is the recommended therapy for SpLD (33/50 vs. 45/50, P = 0.004), (iii) the meaning of the term ′remedial education′ (24/50 vs. 46/50, P < 0.0001), (iv) the frequency and duration of remedial education necessary to achieve academic competence (7/50 vs. 31/50, P < 0.0001), (v) the meaning and purpose of provisions (28/50 vs. 49/50, P < 0.0001) and (vi) the fact that SpLD is a lifelong disorder (11/50 vs. 22/50, P = 0.019). However, parental knowledge about the cause of SpLD did not improve (8/50 vs. 14/50, P = 0.147). Conclusion :Parental knowledge of their child′s SpLD is inadequate and this can be significantly improved by a single-session educational program.
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