Developmental Disorders Among Very Preterm Children

Ines M. Murner-Lavanchy, Peter J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: This article aims to inform clinicians and researchers about the most recent findings regarding developmental disorders in school-aged children born very preterm (< 32 weeks of gestation). Recent Findings: Very preterm birth is associated with higher rates of Intellectual Disability, Specific Learning Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Language Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. For most domains, the incidence of developing a disorder is higher for those born more immaturely. The influence of sex is less clear, with some disorders showing a higher prevalence in boys than in girls. Of the limited longitudinal studies to date, most report that the rates of these developmental disorders remain stable with increasing age. While few studies have investigated co-morbidities, there is some evidence that neurodevelopmental disorders co-occur, with very preterm children exhibiting higher rates of multiple impairments than term-born peers. Summary: Very preterm children are at a high risk of developmental disorders in cognitive, language, motor, behavioural and social domains. While some neonatal and environmental risk factors are known, more research is needed to assess individual developmental trajectories of disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Developmental Disorders Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Intellectual disability
  • Specific learning disorder
  • Very preterm

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