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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1998 Mar;35(2):127-31.

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

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  • 1Division of Behavioral Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark 07103-2400, USA.



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.


The setting included two university-based craniofacial centers.


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.


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


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.


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

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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