Volume 28, Issue 2 (1999)
Neurobehavioral Issues in Childhood Cancer
F. Daniel Armstrong, Marc J. Blumberg, Stuart R. Toledano
Abstract: Children treated for cancer represent a growing population needing educational services in the public and private schools. While not all children with cancer are expected to experience school problems, children whose cancer and/or treatment directly involves the central nervous system are at risk for the development of a number of learning and school-related difficulties. Research during the past 10 years has begun to identify some of the consistent types of neuropsychological outcomes that may occur for these children.Theoretical models have been proposed that point to a developmental emergence of learning problems, dependent upon the age of the child at the time of diagnosis and treatment, type of cancer, type and intensity of treatment, and time since treatment. Consistent with recent concerns about the use of discrepancy models for classifying learning disabilities in the general school population, support is provided for assessment of specific effects of treatment in children with cancer, leading to targeted tracking and intervention. Finally, suggestions for integration of assessment information obtained in the cancer treatment environment into school placement and educational planning are provided.
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