How do children born prematurely learn?

This is question I am often asked. My key thought in responding is that these children are often ‘wired differently’ – their brains are not configured as those of a full term infant might be. This does not automatically imply that they will have a learning disability or special educational need, but teachers need to be prepared that that these children may not perceive and deduct from information given, in the ways we usually expect from children.

Indeed, to repeat again the phrase given to me by the mother of a boy born at 24 weeks gestation after observing his first term in school, he is ‘wired differently’ . As a as a Teacher I then have so ask , “so of he is wired differently , in what ways does he learn differently ? And when I know how he learns differently, in what ways do I teach differently?”

Many teachers find the Engagement Profile (http://engagement4learning.com), a useful observational tool to profile neurodiversity in children, particularly as we start a new academic year.

This article may guide and refresh thinking around how we engage children whose learning pathways are different due to prematurity of birth.

Professor Barry Carpenter CBE,OBE,PhD.

September, 2018

Prematurity and the challenge for educators
Prematurity and the challenge for educators, SEND Magazine Article 2015

 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Premature Birth

On Friday 14 July 2017, an interdisciplinary conference was held at Birmingham City University to raise awareness and highlight current research on this topic.

The slides are now available http://www.bcu.ac.uk/research/stories/born-early

Also the keynote given by Dr Susan Foster-Cohen from the Champion Centre in New Zealand can be watched below:

 

 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Premature Birth Conference

Fri 14 July 2017
09:00 – 15:30 BST
The University Events Team, Birmingham City University

Teachers in particular know so little about this group of children who have transformed SEND registers in this 21st Century. With the World authority, Dr Susan Foster-Cohen speaking this is an essential Conference for SENCOs and special school staff.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/interdisciplinary-perspectives-on-premature-birth-conference-tickets-33332879540