Objectives. Premature birth places a child at risk for a number of academic and behavioral deficits. The challenge currently facing interventionists is to identify at an early age those preterm children who will develop such deficits. Identified children can then be targeted for intervention to forestall deficits at school age.
Method. This study examined the use of a neurologic assessment, administered at 18 months of age, to identify children who will have difficulties at preschool age. Premature children identified as neurologically normal or neurologicaliy suspicious at the age of 18 months were tested with the Miller Assessment for Preschoolers.
Results. Although there was some variability in performance, as a group the children classified as neurologically suspicious at 18 months continued to fall into a risk category at 4 years of age.
Conclusion. Because such categorization may predict inadequate performance during the school-age years, monitoring of the child’s development is warranted.