From Science Daily:

Four factors — medical complications at birth, maternal education, early motor assessments, and early cognitive assessments — help predict later cognitive function and motor performance for children born early and at a very low birth weight, finds a new study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Research has shown that children born prematurely are at an increased risk for neurodevelopmental impairments. The prevalence of severe disabilities among preterm children is diminishing thanks to advances in medical care, but mild impairments remain and tend to persist into later childhood, posing challenges for children in their everyday home and school lives.

Studies suggest that 40 to 70 percent of preterm children have minor neurodevelopmental impairments, including cognitive delays, speech and language disorders, and mild motor problems such as issues with coordination and balance. They also may have lower adaptive behavior, or the integrated ability of cognitive skills, motor skills, and social and emotional regulation people learn in order to function day-to-day.

“A better understanding of risk factors for impairments among preterm children can help health care providers develop a prevention plan when a child is still young, and identify those who might benefit from early intervention,” said study author Tsu-Hsin Howe, associate professor of occupational therapy at NYU Steinhardt.

In their study, published in the January issue of Research in Developmental Disabilities, Howe and her colleagues examined predictors of neurodevelopmental outcomes in very low birth weight children at five years of age, and looked at the contribution of…

Continue Reading