Impact of neurofibromatosis type 1 on school performance
School functioning of 86 Dutch neurofibromatosis type 1 children (7-17 years) using teacher questionnaires was analyzed to determine the impact of neurofibromatosis type 1 on school performance. In all, 75% of the neurofibromatosis type 1 children performed more than 1 standard deviation below grade peers in at least one of the domains of spelling, mathematics, technical reading or comprehensive reading. Furthermore, neurofibromatosis type 1 children had a 4-fold increased risk for attending special education and a 6-fold increased risk for receiving remedial teaching for learning, behavior, speech, or motor problems. Children without apparent learning disabilities still frequently displayed neuropsychological deficits. Only 10% of the children did not show any school-functioning problems. Finally, it was found that the clinical severity of neurofibromatosis type 1 correlated with the cognitive deficits. Taken together, it was shown that neurofibromatosis type 1 has profound impact on school performance. Awareness of these problems may facilitate timely recognition and appropriate support.