Abstract: Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) lack biological filters that are part of the natural fertilization process and thus might enable the presence of abnormal genetic materials. Whereas the findings regarding neonatal and neurological risks among ART-conceived children are rather consistent, data regarding cognitive and social-emotional developmental outcomes are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to examine the association between ART and cognitive and social-communication outcomes among pre-school children. The results indicated that the cognitive and social-communicative abilities of the ART-conceived children were similar to those of the spontaneously conceived children; however, according to parental reports, children in the ART group had higher communicative skills and better motor abilities than spontaneously conceived children. These results should be interpreted with caution as we used measures that assess global cognitive abilities that may not be sensitive to more subtle differences of higher cognitive and social-communication abilities in infancy that may become more prominent later in life. Although infertile couples and professionals in the field of ART can be reassures by the current findings, further research is needed as well as follow-up evaluation of this population during school age.
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- cognitive development
- social-emotional developmental