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The Performance of Premature Babies in School

Often parents of prematurely born infants fear that their children may find it difficult in school. But the results of a new large-scale study by the Northwestern University dispel these fears and reassure parents.The study analyzed 1.3 million infants born between 1992 and 2002 in Florida, with gestational ages between 23 to 24 weeks, who in the period between 1995 and 20012 attended Florida public schools.

They found that two-thirds of prematurely born babies at 23 or 24 weeks became ready for KG at the right time. And, unbelievably, almost 2% of them excelled in school, and most of them demonstrated high degree of cognitive functioning. Though this group usually scored low on standardized tests, those prematurely born babies at 25 weeks or thereafter performed just a bit lower than full term babies.

In fact, with increasing length of pregnancy after 28 weeks, there were negligible differences in test scores. Parents of premature infants therefore need not worry about their child’s future educational outcomes. The researchers in their future work will concentrate on how service-providers and parents can aid future premature children to attain their full potential, said one of the researchers. 


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