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Title:Access to educational and health care services for school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Author(s):Underwood, Donna
Director of Research:Anderson, Steven G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Larrison, Christopher R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, Steven G.; Kitron, Uriel; Hadley-Ives, Eric
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):ADHD service delivery system
ADHD educational service access
social science legal research method
policy supporting ADHD educational services
ADHD health care service access
focus group research method
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Abstract:Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) use educational services and health care services for ameliorating its symptoms and problems. Both civil rights legislation and special education legislation support educational services for children with ADHD, but a change in special education legislative policy on ADHD occurred in 1997 that was expected to enable their access to these services. This dissertation research used a legal method to investigate access to educational services surrounding this change. In addition, parents were interviewed in focus groups in order to learn about their perspectives on access to both educational and health care services for children with ADHD. Access to services was conceptualized broadly for the study, as common steps within pathways for entering into the ADHD service delivery system. The substantive nature of 121 administrative case complaints is described, using problem categories and specific issues within categories. Decision makers consistently interpreted policy in order to resolve these disputes, and findings lend support to the 1997 policy development and its implementation enabling access to special education services for children with ADHD. However, parents in focus groups yet reported problems in access to educational services for their children with ADHD, particularly with school evaluations for determining children’s eligibility for services. Study implications are discussed, and strategies for stakeholders are aimed at improving service dissemination. Important focus group findings on access to health care services also emerged, and recommendations are made for improved service access in this pathway. Parents reported problems of stigma within both services, but good communication occurred both within and between services once children began using services.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Donna Underwood
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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