This book presents the findings from an extensive follow-up report of 1,182 children from the National Childhood Encephalopathy Study conducted in Britain. Each of these children had an early neurological illness, and each was matched according to age, sex, and geographical location with two control children. For the present follow-up, the researchers evaluated the survival, development, and capabilities of 80% of the children from the original study. They found that the children's outcomes varied considerably: while some appeared fully recovered, others were severely impaired. The size of the study enabled the researchers to identify those factors that most reliably predicted outcome, such as early diagnosis, continuing convulsions, and age at onset of the illness, as well as those factors that did not prove predictive of outcome, such as sex and social conditions. The researchers also examined the question of whether or not early neurological illness predicted a single syndrome of subsequent impairment. They found that, on the contrary, the children displayed different patterns of longer-term difficulties.