Dr. Prasad is analyzing data collected in the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). The survey, which was run by Statistics Canada, has gathered information on many social and medical factors that affect children’s health in Canada. The NLSCY involved collecting data from a sample of 25,000 children ages 0-11 years, with each participant being surveyed every 2 years for a total of eight cycles (from 1994 to 2009).


Dr. Prasad has been interested in looking at how many children with epilepsy have other neurological conditions (such as cerebral palsy, learning disability, intellectual disability, emotional conditions) and how well children with epilepsy perform on standardized tests examining their academic ability when starting school.


Dr. Prasad and his colleagues found that 10.03% of children with epilepsy had at least one other neurological condition, 23.57% had two other neurological conditions, and 9.53% had three or more. This means that nearly half (43.13%) of the children with epilepsy had at least one other neurological disorder.


In addition, Dr. Prasad found that children with epilepsy had a lower level of academic achievement on school readiness tests relative to their peers. Scores were likely to be lower than their peers when children had epilepsy and additional health conditions.


Dr. Prasad’s research has highlighted an important issue. Children with epilepsy – particularly with other neurological conditions – may need additional supports and educational interventions within the school system to enhance their academic success. This research demonstrates the need for the school system to give more time and resources to supporting children with epilepsy and other neurological conditions.

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