Persistent Developmental Delays in Children Born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and in Utero Drug Exposure

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


School of Education and Health Sciences


Susan Davies


Children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and In Utero Drug Exposure (IUDE) may experience delays that can impact cognition, motor skills, speech and language, attention and behavior development. Furthermore, children born with NAS are more likely to be referred for evaluation and subsequently qualify for special education when compared with non-exposed peers. This quantitative study involved an evaluation of existing visual motor and receptive/expressive language data from birth to 24 months for 106 children born with NAS and IUDE. Results indicated that these children had significant deficits in visual motor scores and receptive and expressive language scores. Significant differences in visual motor and language scores were found between the NAS & IUDE and IUDE only groups. Children in the IUDE only groups had lower scores on visual motor and language assessments; the IUDE only group demonstrated a significant positive rate of change.


Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Preschool Education, Psychobiology, School Counseling, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, In Utero Drug Exposure, Developmental Delays, Born Addicted

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