Advertisement

Pediatricians’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice Patterns Regarding Special Education and Individualized Education Programs

      Abstract

      Objective

      The medical community has called upon pediatricians to be knowledgeable about an individualized education program (IEP). We sought to: 1) evaluate pediatricians’ knowledge and attitudes regarding special education; 2) examine the relationship between perceived responsibilities and practice patterns; and 3) identify barriers that impact pediatricians’ ability to provide comprehensive care to children with educational difficulties.

      Methods

      Surveys were mailed to a national sample of 1000 randomly selected general pediatricians and pediatric residents from October 2010 to February 2011.

      Results

      The response rate was 47%. Of the knowledge items, respondents answered an average of 59% correctly. The majority of respondents thought pediatricians should be responsible for identifying children who may benefit from special education services and assist families in obtaining services, but less than 50% thought they should assist in the development of an IEP. The majority of pediatricians inquired whether a child is having difficulty at school, but far fewer conducted screening tests or asked parents if they needed assistance obtaining services. Overall, the prevalence of considering a practice a pediatrician’s responsibility is significantly higher than examples of such a practice pattern being reported. Financial reimbursement and insufficient training were among the most significant barriers affecting a pediatrician’s ability to provide care to children with educational difficulties.

      Conclusions

      In order to provide a comprehensive medical home, pediatricians must be informed about the special education process. This study demonstrates that there are gaps in pediatricians’ knowledge and practice patterns regarding special education that must be addressed.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Academic Pediatrics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Silverstein M.
        • Sand N.
        • Glascoe F.P.
        • et al.
        Pediatrician practices regarding referral to early intervention services: is an established diagnosis important?.
        Ambul Pediatr. 2006; 6: 105-109
        • Silverstein M.
        • Grossman D.C.
        • Koepsell T.D.
        • et al.
        Pediatricians’ reported practices regarding early education and Head Start referral.
        Pediatrics. 2003; 111: 1351-1357
        • Blackman J.A.
        • Healy A.
        • Ruppert E.S.
        Participation by pediatricians in early intervention: impetus from Public Law 99-457.
        Pediatrics. 1992; 89: 98-102
        • Buck D.M.
        • Cox A.W.
        • Shannon P.
        • et al.
        Building collaboration among physicians and other early intervention providers: practices at work.
        Infants Young Child. 2001; 13: 11-20
        • Scott F.G.
        • Lingaruaju S.
        • Kilgo J.L.
        • et al.
        A survey of pediatricians on early identification and early intervention services.
        J Early Interv. 1993; 17: 129-138
        • Dobos A.E.
        • Dworkin P.H.
        • Bernstein B.A.
        Pediatricians’ approaches to developmental problems: has the gap been narrowed?.
        J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1994; 15: 34-38
        • Halfon N.
        • Regalado M.
        • Sareen H.
        • et al.
        Assessing development in the pediatric office.
        Pediatrics. 2004; 113: 1926-1933
        • Sneed R.C.
        Policy versus practice: comparison of prescribing therapy and durable medical equipment in medical and educational settings.
        Pediatrics. 2004; 114: e612-e625
        • Committee on Children With Disabilities
        Developmental surveillance and screening of infants and young children.
        Pediatrics. 2001; 108: 192-195
        • Bailey D.B.
        • Hebbeler K.
        • Scarborough A.
        • et al.
        First experiences with early intervention: a national perspective.
        Pediatrics. 2004; 113: 887-896
        • Committee on Children With Disabilities
        Role of the pediatrician in family-centered early intervention services.
        Pediatrics. 2001; 107: 1155-1157
        • O’Neil M.E.
        • Ideishi R.I.
        • Nixon-Cave K.
        • et al.
        Care coordination between medical and early intervention services: family and provider perspectives.
        Fam Syst Health. 2008; 26: 119-134
        • Sices L.
        • Feudtner C.
        • McLaughlin J.
        • et al.
        How do primary care physicians manage children with possible developmental delays? A national survey with an experimental design.
        Pediatrics. 2004; 113: 274-282
      1. National Center for Education Statistics. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov. Accessed March 3, 2012.

        • Blanchard L.T.
        • Gurka M.J.
        • Blackman J.A.
        Emotional, developmental, and behavioral health of American children and their families: a report from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health.
        Pediatrics. 2006; 117: e1202-e1212
        • Smith P.J.
        • Matthews K.S.
        • Hehir T.
        • et al.
        Educating children with disabilities: how pediatricians can help.
        Contemp Pediatr. 2002; 9: 102-127
        • Hurwitz K.A.
        A review of special education law.
        Pediatr Neurol. 2008; 39: 147-154
        • Stein M.T.
        • Lounsbury B.
        A child with a learning disability: navigating school-based services.
        Pediatrics. 2004; 114: 1432
        • Council on Children With Disabilities
        Provision of educationally related services for children and adolescents with chronic diseases and disabling conditions.
        Pediatrics. 2007; 119: 1218-1223
        • American Academy of Pediatrics
        Committee on Children with Disabilities. The pediatrician’s role in development and implementation of an individual education plan (IEP) and/or an individual family service plan (IFSP).
        Pediatrics. 1999; 104: 124-127
        • Silverstein M.
        • Guppy N.
        • Young R.
        • et al.
        Receipt of special education services following elementary school grade retention.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009; 163: 547-553
        • Larson S.A.
        • Lakin K.C.
        Expenditure patterns for ICF/MR and HCBS long-term supports for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities: fiscal years 2004-2009, with projections to fiscal year 2012.
        Intellect Dev Disabil. 2010; 48: 480-484
        • Spann S.J.
        • Kohler F.W.
        • Soenksen D.
        Examining parents’ involvement in and perceptions of special education services.
        Focus Autism Other Dev Disabl. 2003; 18: 228
        • Albers C.A.
        • Glover T.A.
        • Kratochwill T.R.
        Introduction to the special issue: how can universal screening enhance educational and mental health outcomes?.
        J School Psychol. 2007; 45: 113-116
        • Forrest C.B.
        • Bevans K.B.
        • Riley A.W.
        • et al.
        School outcomes of children with special health care needs.
        Pediatrics. 2011; 128: 303-312
        • Byrd R.S.
        School failure: assessment, intervention, and prevention in primary pediatric care.
        Pediatr Rev. 2005; 26: 233-243
        • Cook D.A.
        • Dupras D.M.
        • Thompson W.G.
        • et al.
        Web-based learning in residents’ continuity clinics: a randomized, controlled trial.
        Acad Med. 2005; 80: 90
        • Bell D.S.
        • Fonarow G.C.
        • Hays R.D.
        • et al.
        Self-study from Web-based and printed guideline materials. A randomized, controlled trial among resident physicians.
        Ann Intern Med. 2000; 132: 938-946
        • Allen S.G.
        • Berry A.D.
        • Brewster J.A.
        • et al.
        Enhancing developmentally oriented primary care: an Illinois initiative to increase developmental screening in medical homes.
        Pediatrics. 2010; 126: S160-S164
        • Asch D.A.
        • Jedrziewski M.K.
        • Christakis N.A.
        Response rates to mail surveys published in medical journals.
        J Clin Epidemiol. 1997; 50: 1129-1136
        • Kellerman S.E.
        • Herold J.
        Physician response to surveys. A review of the literature.
        Am J Prev Med. 2001; 20: 61-67
        • Thorpe C.
        • Ryan B.
        • McLean S.
        • et al.
        How to obtain excellent response rates when surveying physicians.
        Fam Pract. 2008; 26: 65-68