There is now quite a lot of evidence that premature or low birth weight children have a greater risk of learning and physical disabilities and this is further supported by a new Finish study. Looking at children born between 1996 and 1997 with Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBA), e.g. birth weight below 1000g or 2.2lbs, the study assessed the children at the age of five.
CONCLUSIONS: Only one fourth of the ELBW infants were classified as normally developed at age 5. The high rate of cognitive dysfunction suggests an increased risk for learning difficulties that needs to be evaluated at a later age. Extended follow-up should be the rule in outcome studies of ELBW infant cohorts to elucidate the impact of immaturity on school achievement and social behavior later in life