Learning disability, school achievement, and grade retention among children with cleft: a two-center study

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1998 Mar;35(2):127-31. doi: 10.1597/1545-1569_1998_035_0127_ldsaag_2.3.co_2.


Objective: This study examined the prevalence of learning disability (LD), level of school achievement; and prevalence of grade retention by type of cleft and gender at two craniofacial centers.

Setting: The setting included two university-based craniofacial centers.

Design/patients: Participants included 84 consecutively evaluated patients from one center who were matched by cleft type, age, and gender with 84 patients evaluated at the second center.

Outcomes: The outcomes included learning disability, school achievement, and grade retention.

Results: The results revealed that 46% of subjects with cleft had LD, 47% had deficient educational progress, and 27% had repeated a grade (excluding kindergarten) in school. Males with cleft palate only (CPO) had a significantly higher rate of LD than any other subject group. Males with CPO and females with cleft lip and palate (CLP) were more likely to repeat a grade in school than were females with CPO and males with CLP.

Conclusions: Children with cleft are at risk for learning disability, low school achievement, and grade retention.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cleft Lip / complications*
  • Cleft Lip / psychology*
  • Cleft Palate / complications*
  • Cleft Palate / psychology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Self Concept