Are We Missing a Vulnerable Population in Early Intervention?

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Infants with low birth weight (LBW ≤ 2,500 g) are at high risk for developmental delays, including cognitive impairments. Retrospective studies have shown that these children often have learning and/or behavioral difficulties at school age. Early evaluation and enrollment in early intervention (EI) programs may reduce the impact of these difficulties; however, many children who would benefit from such programs may not receive EI services. This study provides information on 279 children born LBW and includes information on developmental capability and EI enrollment. Results indicate that children born LBW in EI services had lower overall developmental standard scores than those not in EI. However, it is concerning that almost an equal number of children across all categories of birth weight are not in services.

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