There is ample evidence that children who are born preterm are at risk for language impairment [1-3]. However, not all children who are born preterm will experience difficulty developing language. Why some children have a language impairment and others do not may be owed to the presence of certain risk factors, as well as the absence of particular protective factors. It is possible that different combinations of risk and protective factors may result in negative or positive outcomes for the child born preterm. For the past few years, the research efforts in our laboratory have focused on examining the neurodevelopmental outcomes of children born preterm. Parents and their children, who were born preterm, come to our laboratory once the children are 30 months of age to participate in assessments of language, cognition and motor skills. Several of the families that we have seen have expressed concern about their childâ€™s language development, suspecting a delay, and yet a significant number of these families have not pursued or received language intervention. This is not an isolated occurrence as other researchers have reported the lack of referral for children born preterm . Several studies have been conducted to examine the biological and environmental factors which increase the risk of language impairment. There also have been studies conducted that have indicated protective factors which may reduce the likelihood of language impairment. An understanding of these risk and protective factors may guide researchers and clinicians as to which children should be receiving intervention as early as possible, such as from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and upon release from the NICU.
Citation: Loeb DF (2014) Predictors of Language Outcome for Children Born Preterm: Implications for Early Intervention. Commun Disord Deaf Stud Hearing Aids 2:e114. doi: 10.4172/2375-4427.1000e114