This dissertation study addresses a gap in the literature in K-12 public education regarding students who experience chronic pain (CP). While awareness and understanding about the plight of children and adolescents with CP are prevalent in the healthcare and medical realms, evidence of how public schools respond to students’ pain complications as they apply to their education, both in the K-12 setting andbeyond, is scant. Despite this, consequences of ignoring or misunderstanding CP instudents by K-12 schools could be significant: Studies from the healthcare realm indicate that students with CP often become caught in a “downward spiral” of chronic pain-invoked absenteeism resulting in falling behind in academics and low school functioning, thus placing them at risk of poorer eventual outcomes in life. Likewise,family members and school personnel become frustrated by lack of information,communication problems, and the inability to attend to students’ needs. Additionally,matters are complicated when K-12 school administrators are required to work within fixed legal frameworks that are not necessarily sensitive to CP issues.
K-12 administrators’ responses to students with CP revealed that improved awareness and communications about the CP student’s issues in the school setting—accompanied by a deeper understanding for what can be done to assist the student with CP within the legal framework —could significantly improve the response,compliance requirements, and outcome on behalf of all parties.
|Advisor:||Sherrill Linkous, Kelly A.|
|Commitee:||Ihrig, Karen, Hatton, Holly, Clayton, Jennifer , Schmerling, Jennifer|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Administration & Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Education Policy|
|Keywords:||Assistant principals, Chronic pain, K-12 schools, K-12 students, Principals, Section 504|
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