Sixty children born preterm (gestational age < or = 32 weeks) and 60 control children matched by sex, and socio-economic and educational status of the parents were followed prospectively to the age of five years. Neurodevelopmental problems were surveyed by a detailed neurological and neuropsychological test battery, and by ophthalmological and hearing examinations. All except one of the preterm children with major disability had motor, visual-spatial and visual problems. The most frequent neurodevelopmental abnormalities encountered among preterm children without major disability were motor problems--emerging as gross and fine motor and/or visual-motor difficulties--and visual-spatial problems. Language difficulties were not associated with hearing problems. Among those without major disability, visual-spatial difficulties and ophthalmological problems seldom emerged simultaneously.