[School maladjustment common among children with very low birth weight Special attention and support are required during school start].
ABSTRACT Children of very low birth weight (VLBW), defined as less than 1500 g, and normal birth weight controls (NBW) were enrolled in a long-term follow-up study. Five of 86 surviving VLBW children had a neurological handicap. Seventy VLBW children and 72 NBW children were re-examined at the age of nine, which entailed a neurological examination, a non-verbal intelligence test and a test for reading ability, mathematical skills and vocabulary. Their behavior was rated regarding hyperactivity, social behavior and fine and motor skills. The two groups differed with regard to the neurological examination and the tests, with poorer results shown for the low birth weight group. The VLBW children were also more hyperactive and scored lower on fine motor skills. Considering only those who scored normally as regards non-verbal intelligence (54% of VLBW children and 88% of controls), practically all differences disappeared.