Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-r5zm4 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-16T00:56:16.814Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Learning disabilities in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: subtypes, cognitive profile, and attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 November 2006

Shelley L Hyman
Affiliation:
Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
E Arthur Shores
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Australia.
Kathryn N North
Affiliation:
Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Get access

Abstract

Cognitive deficits are the most common complication in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), and academic achievement is broadly affected. There is a lack of consensus in the literature regarding the frequency of general and specific learning disabilities, which seems to be related to the lack of a consensus on diagnostic criteria. The present study examined the frequency of specific learning disabilities (SLDs) in NF1, using an intellect–achievement discrepancy for diagnosis, as well as general learning difficulty associated with a lowering of general intellectual ability. The cohort consisted of 81 children with NF1 (43 males, 38 females; mean age 11y 6mo [SD 2y 4mo]; range 8y–16y 9mo) and 49 comparison children (20 males, 29 females; mean age 12y [SD 2y 6mo]; range 8y 2mo–16y 8mo). Problems with academic achievement were present in 52% of children with NF1; however, only 20% of the children with NF1 were diagnosed with an SLD (32% had more general learning problems). Only males with NF1 were at significant risk for SLD, and Verbal IQ<Performance IQ discrepancies were predictive of the presence of an SLD. There was a significant comorbidity of literacy-based learning disabilities and attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder. We were able to define three subtypes of children with NF1 having distinct cognitive profiles, each with important implications for assessment and remediation.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
2006 Mac Keith Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)