BACKGROUND:Exposure to parental chronic illness is associated with several adverse developmental outcomes.
OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between parental multiple sclerosis (MS) and childhood developmental outcomes.
METHODS: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study in Manitoba, Canada, using linked databases. The outcome was childhood development at 5 years of age, expressed as vulnerability (absent vs. present) on the Early Development Instrument (EDI).
RESULTS: Children with an MS parent (n=153) were similar to children of unaffected parents (n=876) on all EDI domains.
Physical Health & Well-Being. Sample EDI questions: Can the child hold a pencil? Is the child on time for school each day?
Language & Cognitive Development.Sample EDI questions: Is the child interested in reading and writing? Can the child count and recognize numbers?
Social Competence.Sample EDI questions: Does the child share with others? Is the child self-confident? Will he/she invite bystanders to join in a game?
Emotional Maturity.Sample EDI questions: Is the child able to concentrate? Is the child aggressive or angry? Is the child impulsive (does he/she act without thinking)?
Communication Skills & General Knowledge.Sample EDI questions: Can the child tell a short story? Can the child communicate with adults and children?
Definition of child vulnerability is statistical and populationbased.It refers to the portion of the population which, without additional support and care, may experience future challenges in school and society.