my preemie's going to school...

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Re : my preemie's going to school...

Postby momathelete » Sat Jul 03, 2004 08:57 pm


I too have a preemie entering kindergarten in the fall. He was born at 28 weeks and I used to worry when he was in preschool. I never told them about his prematurity until He was finishing up his second year. I intend to not tell them about it in kindergarten either. I do not want them to form any opinions based on what I say. If your child seems hyper, they will learn soon enough without you having to tell them. My son is VERY hyper when he is excited, but at school he is very attentive and loves the whole structured setting. He did pretty well, testing above average for some things, at the correct level for some. He does need to learn to focus a little more, but what 5 year old boy doesn't? Good luck and I am very excited about my guy going to school, I bet your child will do great!!!!

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Re : my preemie's going to school...

Postby catherine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 09:23 am

Wendy, have you had an opportunity to take Kenzie to some kind of organized class or activity? The reason I ask is that I too have some wiggly worms living at my house. I used to take my eldest (now 7 and heading into 2nd grade ahhh!!) to a music and dance class at our local Y when he was around 3-4. I was stunned to see how my little inattentive monster could discipline himself to follow the instructor, obey commands, switch tasks in an organized manner etc. The same thing happened the summer before kindergarten. We took him to swim classes and found that he would listen to the teacher, attempt everything and focus in a way that we would never normally see at home. If you get a chance to try something like this, consider it.... it's a great way to see how your baby is going to get on operating in the wider world. I understand how little you want to hang a label. Nothing beats a little practice. I also agree with what Laura says, you do benefit from seeing how they work with your own eyes.

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Re : my preemie's going to school...

Postby deerhart » Wed Jun 30, 2004 07:45 am

Its amazing what the actual structure of a school will do for some of that wiggleness and lack of attention.

Its a different environment then sitting down with Mom at home. The kids know they are expected to sit and pay attention and they know the teacher will not tolerate them leaving like mom will.

We worried about this a lot when Alex started preschool and within a few weeks it wasn't much of a problem. SOmetimes the teachers have problems keeping him with the group, but that is still expected of 3-5 year olds.

I wouldn't worry about it too much until it actually does become a problem in an actual school setting, and then rule out things like her getting done earlier, getting bored etc out first as reasons for the behaviors.

The best advice the docs through everything have given us about our son is that there could be a million and a half reason why a child behaves in a certain way, but for the vast majority of the "reasons" the treatment is the same. We thus start to worry less about the why's and start changing the behaviors. Between the ages of 3-7 it is extremely difficult to pin point what the exact problem is in many kids simply because some of the same behaviors that are associated with things like ADD are also perfectly normal behaviors for that age range, so for some its not until they get older and the behaviors still exist that you can look back and say yes those were caused by ADD and not age.
The pysch told us that Alex was exhibiting behaviors that coincide with mild to moderate ADD, but that at age 4 they are unable to determine if those behaviors are being cuased by ADD, by his age, by his speech delay, by something else, or some combination of some or all of them. In fact, I would have been characterized based on behavior as mild to moderate ADD until I was probably 8-10 years old. While the reasons why I exhibited those behaviors and another child does was probably drastically different (mine had to do with the school system and always trying to push for more control with my parents) the behavior modification would still be the same.


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Re : my preemie's going to school...

Postby laura » Tue Jun 29, 2004 03:34 pm

Wcarder- I feel your pain! [:P] My PE baby just finished kindergarten. She was ultimately diagnosed with primarily inattentive ADD near Christmas- long enough for her teacher to get a good feel for her and not so far gone that she got discouraged.

The really great thing about kindergarten was that the teacher really expected and handled fidgety kids really well, and most of the kids were little wiggle worms- it's part of the age, I think. (A big difference than when I was in kindergarten, I'll tell you!) I'd say if you're concerned about attention issues, volunteer in the class and watch your child compared to her peers. I sort of suspected problems with attention by the time she was four, but it wasn't until I saw her with her peers that I got a good handle on it and was able to put it in perspective. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes- I'd probably never have really been certain.

The other thing, too, was that my dd really matured a whole lot between spring/summer before she started school, it's almost like she grew up over night! It was amazing. I didn't think she'd be socially ready for kindergarten, but she was hooked the first day! Good luck and let us know how Kenzie does!

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Re : my preemie's going to school...

Postby jenn » Tue Jun 29, 2004 01:48 pm

Hi and welcome.

I had just posted yesterday that I too will have a little one attending school this coming fall. Though Jaidyn is a bit younger than Kenzie, she will be attending preschool.
For me it's an emotional milestone, pg may be adding to that ;o)
Jaidyn too was a 30 wkr, and a busy little one at that as well.

In my case I have to tell all about her prematurity, she still gets her nutrition from bottles and a special formula. Can't hide that one. Though I am hopeful she will use this as an opportunity to mature by watching her peers.
In my experience of telling teachers and other adults, no one has ever cut her short or treated her any differently knowing what she has been through. I'm thankful for that, it gives her a chance to just be another kiddo' on the block.
I've taken note that I'm my own worst enemy by treating her like a porcelain doll, and I'm the one who needs to toughen up. I work on that daily ;o)

Congrats on your little kindergartener. Keep me/us updated as she starts her journey, we can compare notes ;o)

Much love.

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my preemie's going to school...

Postby wcarder » Tue Jun 29, 2004 01:19 pm

i can't believe it. my noodle is turning five and will be in kindergarten in the fall. she is super smart and i feel she is ready, but i worry a lot about her inability to SIT STILL. she is such a good girl, but whenever i try to sit down with her to practice her letters or learn her phone number, she will not participate. she has never sat through a story or a movie - she is so busy. my mom continues to refer to it as her "prematurity showing" - she was a thirty weeker. should i worry about her risk of add? i feel like she's so young, i don't want to jump to conclusions. should i talk with her kindergarten teacher about her prematurity? i really don't want her to be labeled by them, and sort of want to hear what their own independent observations of her are before i mention how early she was born. anyone else sending their preemies to school this year?
mother to Kenzie Celeste

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