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Pediatricians Can Play Role in Ensuring School Readiness

MONDAY, July 22, 2019 -- Social-emotional and behavioral skills are important for school readiness, and preschoolers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have increased odds of impaired school readiness, according to a technical report and study published online July 22 in Pediatrics.

In the technical report, P. Gail Williams, M.D., from the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues address children's readiness for school, including the readiness of the individual child, the school's readiness, and the ability of the family and community to support optimal early child development. The authors note that insights into early brain and child development have revealed that modifiable factors in a child's early experience can affect their health and learning trajectories. In the United States, many children enter kindergarten with limitations in their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, which may have been corrected through early identification and attention. Social-emotional development is strongly correlated with school and life success. Pediatricians should promote and use community supports, which are important for addressing school readiness, and can support the development of these resources if they do not already exist.

In the study, Hannah T. Perrin, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues compared school readiness between preschoolers with and without ADHD symptoms (45 and 48 children, respectively). The researchers found that the ADHD group demonstrated significantly worse mean scores on eight of 10 component measures of school readiness and had elevated odds of impairment in all domains of school readiness except for cognition and general knowledge. School readiness impairment was reported for 79 and 13 percent of the ADHD and comparison groups, respectively.

"In their relationships with families, pediatricians can help them establish the kinds of nurturing environments that promote school readiness," Williams said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text - Technical Report
Abstract/Full Text - Study (subscription or payment may be required)

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Posted: July 2019

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