Academic difficulties are widely acknowledged but not adequately studied in survivors of pediatric medulloblastoma. Although most survivors require special education services and are significantly less likely than healthy peers to finish high school, measured academic skills are typically average. This study sought to identify potential factors associated with academic difficulties in this population and focused on school competence and fluent academic performance. Thirty-six patients (ages 7–18 years old) were recruited through the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuro-Oncology at Children's Medical Center Dallas and Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX. Participants completed a neuropsychological screening battery including selected Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement subtests. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist. School competence was significantly correlated with measured academic skills and fluency. Basic academic skill development was broadly average, in contrast to significantly worse fluent academic performance. School competence may have utility as a measure estimating levels of educational success in this population. Additionally, academic difficulties experienced by childhood medulloblastoma survivors may be better captured by measuring deficits in fluent academic performance rather than skills. Identification of these potential factors associated with educational outcomes of pediatric medulloblastoma survivors has significant implications for research, clinical assessment, and academic services/interventions.
- brain tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology