Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Special Education

First Advisor

Christy M. Borders


A child with chronic illness has a physical or behavioral condition that affects the child’s daily functioning, lasts longer than three months, and requires medical intervention such as medication, hospitalizations, and/or home care (Newacheck, McManus, & Fox, 2001). Chronic illness interferes with all areas of development, including physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development, and a growing number of children with chronic illnesses are attending school. Effective communication between parents and educators is essential so that accurate information about the nature and extent of the impact of chronic illness on children’s learning experiences and schooling can be shared and appropriate supports and instruction can be provided. In order to better understand communication between parents of children with chronic illness and educators, the experiences of parents communicating with their children’s educators were investigated. Specifically, investigation focused on how parents prefer to communicate with teachers and other school staff, parental academic and social expectations for their children, and what educational supports parents believe should be available for their children. Key findings relate to communication, physical development, social and emotional development, behavior, cognitive development, and advocacy. Communication findings represent concerns related to teacher knowledge, skills, and attitudes, as well as the amount and valence of communication. Physical development findings related to the environment, pain and symptom management, supports for participation, staff knowledge and ability once again, and physical structure. Social and emotional development findings related to peer relationships, peer supportiveness, accuracy of information, and self-esteem. Behavioral findings focused on not making assumptions about that health was the cause of behaviors, being aware of long-term impact, and independence versus over-protectiveness towards a child with a chronic illness. Cognitive development findings related the of the chronic illness to teacher or school preparedness for having the child with chronic illness in the class. Finally, advocacy findings indicated the need to promote awareness and education and to increase preparation. Further research is recommended to understand the relationship from the perspective of the teacher and the child with chronic illness, as well as healthcare professionals.


Imported from ProQuest Edwards_ilstu_0092E_11325.pdf


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