Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carla Sparks

Second Advisor

Dr. Rosita Riley



I initiated this study due to experience in the public education system in one state in the United States. I noted a lack of understanding among educators on how to meet the educational needs of children born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) who had undergone general anesthesia related to their CHD. A lack of communication between the medical sector and the educational world led to extensive delays in children receiving the educational support they needed to be successful academically. There were two primary exploratory questions that drove my study: 1.) Is there a relationship between children born with CHD and their being determined eligible for a program under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) criteria? 2.) Is there a relationship between how long a child has been under general anesthesia and his or her being determined eligible for a program under IDEA criteria? Through my study, I concluded there is a relationship among children born with CHD, exposure to general anesthesia, and being determined eligible for a program under the IDEA criteria. I recommend that hospitals with a Pediatric Cardiology Specialty Department implement an Administrative Educational/Medical Professional position to assist families as early as possible in meeting not only the medical needs but also the academic needs in their child’s life.