School performance of ELBW children: a controlled study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1996 Oct;38(10):917-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1996.tb15048.x.


This paper examines the prevalence of learning difficulty in reading, spelling, mathematics and writing and the prevalence of attention deficit disorder (ADD) in extremely low-birthweight (ELBW) children at school compared to their peers. Parents of 87 eligible ELBW children completed an educational questionnaire and questionnaire for ADD. Teachers of the ELBW children completed a detailed educational and ADD questionnaire for the study child and two control children in the same class, matched for age and nearest in birth date to the study child. Parents reported that 4% of the ELBW children born between 1977 and 1986 were in a special education unit, 46% received remedial help and 21% repeated a grade. Teacher assessment of six aspects of reading and spelling and five aspects of mathematics and writing skills indicated that the ELBW children experienced marked problems in all areas compared to control children and were approximately 3 times more likely to be delayed by more than a year in all areas. Prevalence of ADD was not increased in the ELBW children compared to the control group, though males in both groups had a higher prevalence of symptoms. Early intervention and special education resources must be available for ELBW children attending school.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Task Performance and Analysis