Learning and Behavioral problems of grade 1 students in Songkhla
Objective: To study the prevalence of learning and behavioral problems of grade 1 students in primary schools of 9 districts in Songkhla.
Method: This was a retrospective descriptive study. Data were collected from the project using a screening program for learning and behavioral problems of grade 1 students in Songkhla primary schools from 9 districts during the academic year of 2016 to 2018. Participants were assessed by their teachers with the screening tools to identify students who are potentially at-risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, learning disorders and intellectual problems. At-risk students were evaluated by the child psychiatrist to perform diagnosis. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: In the academic year of 2016, 20.33% of 4,437 grade 1 students were identified to be at-risk groups. Followed by psychiatric examination and psychological testing to perform diagnosis. The prevalence of learning and behavioral problems was found at 9.15%. Among students with learning and behavioral problems, the prevalence of suspected learning disorder (LD) was 5.91%, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was 2.59% and intellectual disability (ID) was 0.47%. In the academic year of 2017, 17.12% of 7,027 participants were identified as at-risk groups. The prevalence of learning and behavioral problems was 8.34%. The prevalence of suspected LD was 5.14%, followed by ADHD (2.78%) and ID (0.28%). And in the academic year of 2018, 19.44% of 6,327 participants were found to be at-risk groups. The prevalence of learning and behavioral problems was 10.29%. Most of them were found to be suspected LD (6.20%), followed by ADHD (3.33%) and ID (0.47%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of at-risk students is consistent with the nationwide study, while the prevalence of ADHD, ASD, LD and ID is lower than the previous study. However, we find that the screening program is useful to identify students who may be at-risk for learning and behavioral problems. The screening program should be improved for more efficiency.
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