Neurodevelopmental Implications of Neonatal Trauma

Neonatal trauma, whether associated with premature birth or neonatal illness or injury, can affect neurological development. There may be actual injury to the brain or alteration in brain functioning. Even when injury to the brain is documented with imaging techniques, the extent to which later development will be affected can only be predicted accurately in the most severe cases. For most children, it is only as demands increase with development that the impact on functioning can be determined. The following articles provide information to help clarify how the neonate’s nervous system responds to the trauma associated with extreme prematurity and neonatal illness.

Understanding How the Brain Develops

Impairment, Disability, and Handicap

Motor Impairment Associated with Neurological Injury in Premature Infants

When Your Child Has Difficulties in School

Be sure to also see our page on Development of Children Over 18 Months for further discussion of developmental issues beyond infancy associated with extreme prematurity and the National Center for Learning Disabilities' LD Basics for information on learning disabilities.