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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1988 Jun;30(3):294-305.

Predictive value of screening for different areas of development.

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  • 1Department of Child Health, University of Dundee.


Associations between the results of developmental screening at five ages between 30 weeks and three years and the children's educational and behavioural status in normal primary schools at 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 years were examined in two samples of children living in Dundee and born in 1974 and 1975. In one sample the screening results for 417 children with moderately severe or severe school problems were compared with the screening results for a control group without school problems. Positive associations were found between school problems and motor and adaptive screening test results (from 39-week screening onward), language (from 15 months), preschool behaviour (at 39 weeks and two years) and neurological status (at 39 weeks and three years). In the second sample the questionnaire scores of 570 children known to be suspect on screening were compared with the scores of a control group whose screening results had been considered within the normal range. Adaptive and neurological screening tests provided the best predictors of behaviour problems in school and of educational failure. It is suggested that more thorough developmental and neurological assessments, at less frequent intervals, than is common in most screening programmes would facilitate identification of (and intervention for) preschool neurodevelopmental disability among children at risk of early schooling problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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