4 processes: how premature babies develop

Babies born before 32 weeks of gestation are mostly considered as a single group, but there are actually subgroups that differ in severity, type, and combinations of health and developmental problems. Almost half of children (45%) have no more difficulties than full-term children.

The other 55 percent of children fall into three subgroups with developmental disabilities:

  1. children who predominantly had difficulties with motor and cognitive functions;
  2. Children with difficulties related mainly to behavior, emotions and social relationships e
  3. a small subset of children with severe disabilities in all areas of development.

“Very little is known about the specific needs of subgroups of very preterm infants,” said Dr. Sabrina Twilhaar. ‚ÄúThis is the first large-scale study to differentiate extremely preterm infants based on their outcome profile in several key developmental domains. Because the way children present themselves in everyday life is not determined only by their IQ or their behavior. We now have a better understanding of which difficulties are prevalent in the different subgroups and which often occur together. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, our findings underscore that it is important to take individual differences much more into account. “

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