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Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:37 pm
I don't have any experience of premature children either, but I have read quite a bit about normal infant development, and have commented elsewhere (on the General forum, IIRC) about the unfair way in which children are dragged through the UK school systems on the basis of their date of birth, with actual readiness for the next year rarely given enough weight. IMO, premature children need an "official" birthday for educational purposes, assigned by a medic who has the expertise to estimate when a full term birth would have occurred.
Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:06 pm
Heartwarming - and invaluable personal experience shared.
Posted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:28 pm
Kenm - very late reply to your post - official due dates are used for ex-prem children to calculate their developmental progress. This 'adjusted' figure is used for about 2-3 years but then discarded, as physically most children have 'caught up' by that age. The information doesn't necessarily follow them to school or get taken into account when they start reception - I met with many blank faces when I brought it up at school, although that was 7 years ago.
Being born early would not always result in them being born into a different year group ie. if they were born in October with a due date in December. And as has been said on the 'summer born' threads on this site, delaying starting school may not always be the answer. I think this is particularly the case with premature children as it does not take into account the different development of the brain that occurs when babies spend the final stages growing outside the womb ie. that they show signs of development that are not just 'behind' but are also qualitatively different to the norm.
For example, being born early can result in altered sensory development and awareness that doesn't necessarily get 'fixed' by growing up (although I've read that it can be ameliorated by sensory therapy in some cases if spotted early enough, but not always). Sensory problems can have a big impact on a child's ability to learn, sit still, concentrate etc. Luckily, SP works a treat on them too, as we've found!
I'm waiting on the outcome of some research on this to see if any policies result that will see it is addressed more positively when ex-prems start nursery/school in the future. I could be in for a long wait but I can see from many posts on RRF that this is not unusual!