Academic achievement among children with nonsyndromic orofacial clefts: A population-based study

Published

Journal Article

© The Author(s) 2017. Objective: Children with orofacial clefts (OFCs) may experience poor reading proficiency, learning disabilities, and academic underachievement. We examined the association between nonsyndromic (NS) OFCs and end-of-grade (EOG) performance in reading and math from third through eighth grade in a sample subgroup. Participants: We identified a cohort of 559 children with NS-OFCs and 6822 children without birth defects, classifying cleft type by cleft lip alone, with or without cleft alveolar ridge (CL); cleft lip with cleft palate (CLþP); and cleft palate only (CP). Main Outcome Measures: Using logistic regression, we estimated the odds of not meeting grade-level standards among children with NS-OFCs compared to unaffected peers. Using longitudinal analyses, we estimated the odds of not meeting grade-level standards and average change in test scores through eighth grade. Results: Children with NS-OFCs were 1.22 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.83) times as likely not to meet grade-level standards in reading compared to unaffected peers. The effect was similar for math (OR: 1.17; 95% CI: 0.92, 1.48). Children with CLþP were 1.33 (95% CI: 0.86, 1.83) and 1.74 (95% CI: 1.19, 2.56) times as likely not to meet grade-level standard in reading and in both subjects, respectively, compared to unaffected peers. The average rate of change in both scores was similar for children with and without OFCs. Conclusions: Poor academic performance appears greatest for children with CLþP, a finding compatible with previous observations and hypothesized mechanisms associating orofacial clefts with subtle abnormalities in brain development. Academic performance monitoring and referral for academic assistance is warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Watkins, SE; Meyer, RE; Aylsworth, AS; Marcus, JR; Allori, AC; Pimenta, L; Lipinski, RJ; Strauss, RP

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 12 - 20

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1545-1569

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1055-6656

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1055665617718823

Citation Source

  • Scopus