Kindergarten and Prematurity

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Postby dohertyab » Tue May 25, 2010 10:38 am

Hi, our twins were very similar in build, so I have another track to consider - how does your daughter sleep? The twins were also very small, didn't eat much and really had very little stamina and then during a routine developmental assessment the assessor noted that they were both mouth breathers and asked if they snored at night. They did and always had. It turned out that they had huge, swollen tonsils and adenoids and once they were removed they started to sleep better, eat better and low and behold, had better stamina and concentration. It turned out that many kids who have low stamina don't sleep well and that's why they have trouble concentrating, etc. It makes sense that even though they spent 12 hours in bed they weren't getting any type of quality sleep so they were groggy during the day.

I'm not saying that removing her tonsils is the answer but something to consider.

We did not hold the twins back but they're May birthdays and in our system they register by calendar years so even corrected age they would have started with the same class. We kept a close watch and while they're not setting the world on fire, they are now coming into their own (they're in grade 3). I don't think it would have made a difference for them to have a little extra time.

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Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Postby catherine » Mon May 24, 2010 11:07 am

I think that a certain balance needs to be achieved. Do you feel like your daughter has grown "beyond" the pre-K curriculum? Lucy is one of the oldest in her class (October birthday) while Chloe is one of the youngest (July birthday) but the most striking thing about their K year was when the "light-bulb" went on with reading. A lot has to be achieved in K, beyond the socialization and organization components, it is critical that a child displays confident independent reading skills by the end of the year. Without them, 1st grade is almost an intolerable challenge. Based on our experiences and those of my friends I'd be a "start K and then if there's a stuggle with any or all of these elements, go around again" because a "double-hit of K" might yield greater benefits than an extended wait time. In the case of one of friend's kids, she really benefitted with her second cycle because her up-until-then weak social/attention skills were really sharpened by the combination of "familiarity" from having done the work the year before combined with having something to offer as the "older, experienced-in-the-playground, know-the-rules-and-the-monkey-bars" expert to the newbies who were smaller and shyer than she was.

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Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Postby frasiah » Mon May 24, 2010 10:47 am

Like Lori said, each child is different and decisions have to be tailored to that child. We held DD back a year and it was the best thing we ever did. Now in Kindergarten she did very well and did not struggle at all like she did in her first year in PK. So she will be going to K at 7 yrs this fall as she has July birthday. Our son who turned 5 in April is set to start K this fall. After much discussion with the teacher we agreed this was best. However, we did say that should we see him struggling, we have no qualms either moving him back to PK5 or doing a secong yr in K. So far those decisions have worked very well for our children.

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Re : Kindergarten and Prematurity

Postby mnmom » Mon May 24, 2010 08:02 am

Such a difficult decision, and whatever you decide, it will be the right decision for your family. My second born daughter has a May birthday-yesterday, actually. She was a tiny little thing, although not a preemie. In preschool she did great academically and motor skills, but she was very shy and not extremely social. We struggled with the decision, but ultimately sent her to K at 5. I have to admit, kindergarten through the first part of second grade were somewhat of a struggle. But during second grade, she all of a sudden "caught up" and became very social and a leader. Would she have excelled even more if we would have waited? Who knows. We made the best decision we could at the time. She is now a senior in college and amazing!

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Kindergarten and Prematurity

Postby mollysmom05 » Sun May 23, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi There!
Our daughter Molly was born at 29 1/2 weeks. She spent 53 days in the NICU. She's 5 years and 4 months weighs 32 pounds and is 44 inches tall. She's very thin and petite. We've been blessed that up until this point, she hasn't really had any difficulties.

I had an eye opening meeting however with her Pre-K teacher this past week. She said she knew almost all of her letters and numbers and her address. She did point however, her gross motor skills were still a little behind and their concern was with her pokiness (looking around in class while they were doing a project or just falling a bit behind everyone else). We've noticed this too at soccer, that she has a hard time keeping up and gets tired easily halfway thru the practice.

She seems right on par with her friends that are 4 so after a lot of discussion and concern, we are leaning towards possibly having her stay back and start kindergarten in the fall of 2011. She will be 6 then and 7 that following February so hopefully she won't feel too much older than the rest of her class. It's such a hard decision, I was just wondering what everyone's elses experience was with this and whether or not you held off a year on kindergarten and if so, why or why not. Thanks in advance for your help!

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