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I was after some advice please but a bit of backgroung will probably help! DH and I adoped our twin daughters when they were 11 months old and they have just turned six, they were born at 25 weeks and had various problems associated with prematurity, one had NEC, both were in hospital for about 12 weeks until discharged into foster care.
The girls have been placed with us approximately 300 miles away from where they were born and we have no acess to their medical records, Following placement they have never had any follow up with a paediatrician or doctor of any kind we have just been left to get on with it.
Now five years down the line the girls are in year one of main stream school and doing well but we are starting to notice that they are struggling with certain things, DT1 just slower to learn but DT2 very unco-ordinated and clumsy and also slower to grasp phonics etc, i was wondering if this might be due to their prematurity? I also wanted to ask what kind of follow up your babies have had?
Difficult to answer your question but as no-one has replied yet thought I would try and help. dd now 13 was born at 27 weeks and was followed up by doctors at local hospital for development checks until she was school age i.e. when she was 4 years old. However there does not seem to be a definite age for following up premature children. Usually they are followed up by the doctors until they reach appropriate development milestones for their age and my dd was only monitored for so long because of significant delays in some areas. On reading your post I would suggest that the most important thing is to make sure that your GP refers your DTs for appropriate development checks so that their needs now can be met. When you see the experts you could ask them this question and see if prematurity could have affected them in this way. However my thoughts are that if prematurity was the main issue here, any problems would have shown up earlier. Hope this helps.
I have two dd prems one age 8.5 and one is 3.4. Eldest has ADHD and associated difficulties and youngest has behaviour/social difficulties. They were born at 32 and 33 wks. We were told prematurity can cause lots of learning or behaviour difficulties.
I would get in touch with PALS at the hosp they were born and ask for their medical records. I would also make an app with gp and ask for both girls to be referred to a pead
I would agree with Crazymum - I don't think there are any strict rules, my 27 week twins were monitored until they were 2 by the consultant peadiatrician at the hospital they were born at and then they had other appointments / monitoring as and when required through the "normal" channels ie health visitors at their normal assessments - I think quite alot of prem babies are referred for hearing checks (as this is affected by blood transfusions and this might be the cause of clumsiness / balance?), eye checks (from being on oxygen) and we were also referred to a speech therapist for my DS. I would speak to the GP (I don't know how it works) but surely there must be some way of getting their records?
Get in touch with Bliss (premature baby charity) lots of good advice on their website. They published a report some time ago about preemies & education. My DS was born at 26 wks & is 4 yrs old with global developmental delay. He is also being assessed for ASD so it's worth booking a GP apt, be warned that GPs can be clueless about the long term impact on ex prems physically & developmentally. Print off some info from Bliss before you see your Dr. My GP is useless.
Interesting that you mention the phonics thing. The Headteacher at my school attended a conference recently and one of the speakers was talking about very premature babies and their difficulties in accessing phonics due to a particular pattern of brain development. I'll see if I can find out the speakers name when I am back at school later in the week.
Littlefish Thats really strange that you mention phonics - I know there is a tendancy on MN for mums to brag and have a slightly subjective view of their little angels (no, really ???) and I really hope I don't come across like that, but my 27 weekers were identified as being well ahead of their peers specifically on phonics. Not great at other things (clumsiness etc) but phonics was singled out as something their reception / Year 1 teachers said they were unusually good at.