Developmental and service needs of school-age children with human immunodeficiency virus infection: A descriptive study

P. Papola, M. Alvarez, H. J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objective. To describe the developmental functioning and service needs of a group of school-age children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Design. Retrospective data were collected through chart reviews and follow-up telephone calls to primary care givers. Setting. A multidisciplinary team provided care at a developmental diagnostic and treatment center. Patients. Cases were 90 school-age children (ages 5 to 14 years) with presumed perinatally acquired HIV infection. Results. Forty-four percent of the 86 children on whom there were diagnoses were functioning in the low average to average range of intelligence, whereas 56% were functioning in the borderline range or lower. Fifty percent of the children demonstrated significant language impairments, with 28% also demonstrating an articulation disorder. Thirty-six of the children (42%) were formally diagnosed as having emotional/behavioral disorders. Eighty-six of the children were in school-based programs and of that group, 74% were in special education classes and receiving related services. Conclusions. Most of the children in this study demonstrated deficits in the cognitive and learning areas, although they are clearly functioning better than earlier studies of children with HIV infection would have predicted. Their service needs include alternative living arrangements, remedial education, and psychotherapeutic interventions. The children's increasing longevity will place strains on the respective service systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-918
Number of pages5
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • care givers
  • development
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • mental health services
  • perinatal infection
  • special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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