6. Every child is different
Watch the video of Developmental Psychologist, Professor Samantha Johnson, to hear why it is important to remember that preterm birth is just a risk factor for difficulties later in life and why every child is different.
Although this section has highlighted that children born preterm are at higher risk of school difficulties than children born at term, it’s important to remember that every child is different. Not every preterm baby will go on to have difficulties later in life. Prematurity is just a risk factor for long term problems, it’s not a diagnosis.
Some babies born extremely preterm at 24 or 25 weeks of gestation may go on to have no difficulties at all, whereas other babies born just a few weeks early might have significant difficulties that impact on their learning and performance at school.
Although most preterm babies won’t have severe disabilities, it’s important to remember that many might have subtle cognitive, social or emotional difficulties that impact on their learning and which can be quite difficult to detect in the classroom. That’s why it’s so important for educational professionals like yourself to be able to understand the kinds of difficulties that preterm children might have, so you’re able to identify those problems early and provide the most appropriate support to help these vulnerable children achieve their full potential.