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.