Preemie Milestones - a quick look

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Preemie Milestones are important to know and understand. Keeping an eye on your preemies development and checking when they reach certain milestones can help you determine when a little help might be necessary.


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Preemie milestones can keep you both on track

When understanding preemie milestones is important to learn a little bit of information on the typical development of various skills, as well as some information about signs that may indicate problems with development. If your preemie is not meeting the milestones mentioned you may want to talk to your paediatrician about your preemie's development.


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Strategies for Executive Functioning Difficulties

Some children, whether they are born preemie or not, have difficulties with some aspects of thinking. This section provides some recommendations for specific skills that are important for learning.

When attempting to intervene or accommodate for a students’ difficulties in the classroom, whether it is memory, attention, or executive functions, it is important to consider the classroom culture as well as teaching style. Ideas that will benefit more students have a better chance of success

Executive skills

Executive function (EF) refers to a collection of processes that are responsible for purposeful, goal-directed behaviour, such as planning, setting goals, initiating, using problem-solving strategies, and monitoring thoughts and behaviour. Executive functioning is important for a child's intellectual development, behaviour, emotional control, and social interaction.

(Anderson & Doyle, 2004)

Executive skills

Preemies are at risk of executive functioning difficulties. Executive function (EF) refers to a collection of processes that are responsible for purposeful, goal-directed behaviour, such as planning, setting goals, initiating, using problem-solving strategies, and monitoring thoughts and behaviour.

Executive function (EF) refers to a collection of processes that are responsible for purposeful, goal-directed behaviour, such as planning, setting goals, initiating, using problem-solving strategies, and monitoring thoughts and behaviour. Executive functioning is important for a child's intellectual development, behaviour, emotional control, and social interaction.

 

Children with executive function problems may have difficulty in some of these areas:

  • planning their work and seeing it through to the end.
  • setting goals and sticking to them.
  • deciding what is and isn’t important to focus on
  • working through a problem step-by-step in a logical order
  • coming up with ideas and problem-solving strategies by themselves.
  • getting started on a project
(Klenberg, Korkman, & Lahti-Nuuttila, 2001)

The following details some ideas to help children with executive functioning difficulties

Strategies at Home

  • Your child would benefit from set routines within the home (eg. homework time, bed time), so that expectations of them are clear. It is important that routines are reinforced over time.
  • Your child may benefit from following a checklist to prepare for their day at school (eg. books, lunch etc ). This helps to reduce the demand for your child to remember and organise activities. It may be beneficial to use picture cues of steps to follow in a task. For younger children, encourage them to tick off or cross out each step when it is completed.

 

Strategies at School

Strategies for Teachers

Strategies for teachers to use when a student is experiencing memory difficulties

  • A child with executive difficulties may become frustrated if they can’t come up with ideas when problem-solving, so they may need some prompting or assistance to think of alternatives when they are stuck on such activities. 
  • It can be beneficial to give clear direction, rather than many options, which may be overwhelming. 
  • Checklists/structures are useful in helping children with essays and projects.
  • Prompting to begin and continue with activities may be necessary. 
  • Children with poor self-monitoring skills often lead to making errors. If this is the case it is recommended that a routine of checking their work is established as part of their normal working process. 
  • It is very important that the child learns to use a diary efficiently. They will be better able to plan and organise their school work. Also, writing down the tasks that need to be completed reduces the load on memory. 
  • Redirect child to the topic when they go off-task or are distracted. Break complex tasks into simple steps for the student to follow. The student may need step by step direction to ensure they complete set tasks. 
  • It may be beneficial for the student to work from written checklists or picture cues of steps to follow in a task. For younger children, encourage them to tick off or cross out each step when it is completed.
(Catroppa & Anderson, 2002; Chanquoy, 2001; Kinsella et al., 2009; Simon, 1998; Thone, 1996)

 

Technical Reference List

Catroppa, C., & Anderson, V. (2002). Recovery in memory function in the first year following TBI in children. Brain Injury, 16(5), 369-384.
Chanquoy, L. (2001). How to make it easier for children to revise their writing: A study of text revision from 3rd to 5th grades. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 15-41.
Kinsella, G. J., Mullaly, E., Rand, E., Ong, B., Burton, C., Price, S., et al. (2009). Early intervention for mild cognitive impairment: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 80(7), 730-736.
Simon, C. S. (1998). When big kids don't learn: contextual modifications and intervention strategies for age 8-18 at-risk students. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 12(3), 249-280.
Thone, A. I. T. (1996). Memory rehabilitation - Recent developments and future directions. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 9(3), 125-140.

 

 


AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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