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.
After all the debate and politically driven ideology about teaching reading only via Phonics , this article reminds us powerfully why we teach reading , and how holistic approaches are probably more successful with children with SEND.
A child’s first experiences with books and stories, paper and crayons build the foundation for language, reading and writing.
“Teaching language and literacy via the use of books demands the highest quality teaching. This in turn requires knowledge, insight and curiosity about how children learn and develop alongside their unique interests and needs,” writes Kathryn Solly. Kathryn explains how children with SEN can become inspired about books and reading.
Jo Egerton, Schools Research Consultant, and Bev Cockbill, Training Co-ordinator and Structured Teaching Practitioner in complex learning needs, Chadsgrove Teaching School, Bromsgrove, write about the use of mental wealth journals for pupils with additonal needs.