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To many paediatricians and parents the realisation that a child has escaped major physical disability following a range of insults in infancy is greeted with a huge sense of relief. However, there is accumulating evidence that subtle effects of a wide range of insults to the developing brain, such as prematurity, intrapartum hypoxia and, as described in the accompanying paper by de Louvois et al, meningitis, have consequences well beyond the immediate recovery period. This recognition brings with it broad implications for educational services, including the need for teachers to be aware that a range of illnesses, from which a child may recover well, have important educational sequelae which require careful longitudinal assessment and intervention.
The focus of the accompanying paper is a national cohort of children who had been identified with meningitis from any cause in infancy during 1985–87. These children had been evaluated …
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