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Aust Paediatr J. 1988 Feb;24(1):19-23.

Longitudinal study of very low birthweight infants: intelligence and aspects of school progress at 14 years of age.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Consecutive surviving children weighing less than 1501 g when born in 1966-70 were followed prospectively: 87% (146/168) attended normal secondary schools, 4% (7/168) attended schools for those with special needs and 9% (15/168) were untraced. The psychologist assessed 140 children at a mean age of 14.5 years. The mean WISC-R Verbal Score of 89.7 was almost identical to that achieved by the children at 8 years of age (89.2). Thirty three children (24%) had delay in Reading Accuracy on the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, whilst 66 children (48%) were delayed on the Comprehension Scale. Social class and duration of maternal education were significant predictors of the WISC-R Verbal Scores and Reading Comprehension at 14.5 years but the total variance explained was small. The Bayley Development Index (MDI) available for half of the children at 2 years often underestimated their potential as defined by the WISC-R Verbal Score at 14.5 years. The 8 year intelligence (WISC-R) and reading measures (Neale) were significantly and highly associated with the corresponding measures at 14.5 years. It was concluded that 8 years was an appropriate age to evaluate the outcome of the children and to identify many of those needing educational intervention. The spasmodic nature and sometimes short duration of the help received by many of the children underlines the need for more appropriate intervention for children with learning difficulties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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