The CHESS Study 2014

This study arose from a senior politician saying to us “I know that people with epilepsy are not counted in schools and I know that they have a wide range of cognitive and behavioural problems but you have to do something that brings this to everyone’s attention”. Our response was to have four international annual meetings that highlight these problems, a new course for professionals and this; The CHESS Study.

The purpose of this study was to document, on a population basis, difficulties with cognition and behaviour in children aged 4 to 16 years. The cognitive aspects included memory and processing speed, and the behavioural aspects included symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), anxiety and depression.

The striking elements about this study are:

  • Very high levels of problems with academic progress.
  • 40% functioning within the learning disabled range.
  • Memory underachievement in 58% of children on at least one of the four memory tests.
  • 42% were underachieving in processing speed.
  • A high level of academic underachievement with greatest difficulty in mathematics and sentence comprehension.
  • 60% met the diagnostic criteria for a behaviour disorder or DCD.
  • 95% of the children had difficulty in at least one of the assessed areas.
  • most of the children had several problems.