, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 273-293
Date: 28 Jun 2006

Developmental Course of Very Preterm Children in Relation to School Outcome

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Objective: Developmental course of preterm and term children is studied within a prospective longitudinal design in relation to school outcome at 10 years of age. Methods: Differences between the term and preterm children were studied in somatic, neuro- motor, cognitive and socio-emotional development. In addition, comparisons were made concerning the developmental course of the subgroup of preterm children attending age appropriate school classes at 10 years of age, and the subgroup of preterms that showed school problems, reflecting a history of grade retention or attendance of special education school. Results: Term and preterm children differed in all developmental domains. The subgroup of preterms without school problems is characterized by less serious neonatal difficulties, better drinking capacities in the first month, faster early head growth and better early mental and motor development. Cognitive developmental course gradually diverged during the first two years between the preterm subgroups and seemed to stabilize thereafter.