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Recent Study Sheds Light on Learning Problems in Preschool Age Children with NF1

In addition to café-au-lait macules, difficulties with learning are seen in as many as 80% of school-aged children with NF1. Affected children may have problems with attention, visual perception, executive function, language, reading, spelling and mathematics. Each of these issues can make success in school extremely difficult without proper support and therapy.
A recent study from researchers in Australia sought to better understand the cognitive function of 3-year-old children with NF1. They evaluated 43 children with NF1 and 43 unaffected children, and found that 3-year-olds with NF1 had significantly lower intellectual functioning than their unaffected peers. These results underscore the need to closely monitor cognition in young children with NF1 to ensure that each child receives the correct resources to promote further development and future success.
At the Washington University NF Center, we offer a variety of resources to support cognitive development in children with NF1. For example, Club NF is a free, bi-monthly event involving play-based therapy for children with NF1. Additionally, NF1 app recommendations provides a list of iPad Apps that can aid in development of multiple skills including fine motor, visual perception, organization, productivity and academics. The Apps are listed in age appropriate groups for your convenience.
Lorenzo J, Barton B, Arnold SS, North KN. Cognitive features that distinguish preschool-age children with neurofibromatosis type 1 from their peers: A matched case-control study. J Pediatr. 163: 1479-83, 2013.