University of Louisville

Poster Title

Visual Perceptual Skills Problems in Children Born Prematurely

Institution

University of Louisville

Abstract

Even in the absence of major disabilities, children born prematurely have been reported to have problems in school across multiple domains. It is uncertain why these children with average IQ scores require a disproportionate number of special education services. Visual perceptual difficulties could affect success at school, but few studies have been conducted and more data are needed. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify performance patterns of specific visual perceptual skills. The sample consisted of eighty-six 4- and 5-year-old-children all born with very low birth weights (VLBW; < 1500 grams). The Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (non-motor)-Revised (TVPS-R) was used. The TVPS-R consists of seven subscales: Visual Discrimination, Visual Memory, Visual Spatial Relationships, Visual FormConstancy, Visual Sequential Memory, Visual Figure Ground, and Visual Closure. In addition, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) was administered to assess general cognitive abilities. The K-BIT consists of two subscales (Vocabulary and Matrices) and an overall composite score. Generally, the children performed poorly on all subscales of the TVPS-R. Across the seven subscales, 60.5% to 74.4% of the children performed below their age-equivalent level. Six of the seven subscales were correlated with Matrix IQ scores (p < .05). The findings suggest these children have significant impairments in multiple areas of visual perception. More data are needed to determine how these deficits relate to specific cognitive skills and academic performance. Screening instruments are needed to assist clinicians in identifying children with visual perceptual deficits prior to school entry.

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Visual Perceptual Skills Problems in Children Born Prematurely

Even in the absence of major disabilities, children born prematurely have been reported to have problems in school across multiple domains. It is uncertain why these children with average IQ scores require a disproportionate number of special education services. Visual perceptual difficulties could affect success at school, but few studies have been conducted and more data are needed. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify performance patterns of specific visual perceptual skills. The sample consisted of eighty-six 4- and 5-year-old-children all born with very low birth weights (VLBW; < 1500 grams). The Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (non-motor)-Revised (TVPS-R) was used. The TVPS-R consists of seven subscales: Visual Discrimination, Visual Memory, Visual Spatial Relationships, Visual FormConstancy, Visual Sequential Memory, Visual Figure Ground, and Visual Closure. In addition, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT) was administered to assess general cognitive abilities. The K-BIT consists of two subscales (Vocabulary and Matrices) and an overall composite score. Generally, the children performed poorly on all subscales of the TVPS-R. Across the seven subscales, 60.5% to 74.4% of the children performed below their age-equivalent level. Six of the seven subscales were correlated with Matrix IQ scores (p < .05). The findings suggest these children have significant impairments in multiple areas of visual perception. More data are needed to determine how these deficits relate to specific cognitive skills and academic performance. Screening instruments are needed to assist clinicians in identifying children with visual perceptual deficits prior to school entry.