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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2003 May;9(4):653-62.

Do children with myelomeningocele and hydrocephalus display nonverbal learning disabilities? An empirical approach to classification.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. yeates.1@osu.edu

Abstract

As a group, children with myelomeningocele (MM) and early-onset hydrocephalus demonstrate many of the features of the syndrome of nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD). However, the frequency with which individual children display a pattern of neuropsychological functioning consistent with the NLD syndrome is unknown. We addressed this question by comparing the prevalence of NLD in 32 children with MM and shunted hydrocephalus to that in a group of 27 healthy siblings. Participants, who were between 8 and 15 years of age, completed a neuropsychological test battery that included 11 measures of possible assets and 17 measures of possible deficits that define the NLD syndrome. As a group, children with MM and shunted hydrocephalus displayed many of the specific assets and deficits. However, they also displayed significantly more variability in their patterns of assets and deficits than siblings, reflecting the substantial individual differences that characterize children with MM. About 50% of the children with myelomeningocele displayed a pattern of assets and deficits consistent with the NLD syndrome. Classification as NLD was weakly related to cumulative medical risk, as well as to left-handedness. The findings suggest a need for caution in making generalizations regarding the applicability of the NLD model to children with MM and early-onset hydrocephalus.

PMID:
12755177
DOI:
10.1017/S1355617703940057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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