Preemie Development - Preemie Special Needs

Professionals and parents discuss the development, long term impacts and special needs of preemies.

Very premature baby holding hand in NICU.

Prematurity Books
Parenting after the NICU. Book reviews and author interviews.

Special Needs Book
Recommended books on specific special needs and special needs parenting.

Long Term Care Needed for an Increasing Number of Families of Babies With Special Needs
The number of children who need specialized equipment and intensive medical intervention at birth is on the rise. Sadly, once a family walks out the hospital door, practical supports are in short supply. (Miriam Edelson)

What I Learned in Parenting a Child with Special Needs - A Letter to God
The bitter-sweet lessons of growth from raising a child with special needs. (Pat Linkhorn)

Many Prematurity Issues are Mild
Preemies can have long term impacts, but often they are mild. (Helen Harrison)

Timing of Long Term Diagnoses

Timing of Diagnoses of Prematurity Impacts
Brief overview of ages when common diagnoses related to prematurity are made. (Helen Harrison)

Prematurity Research Disproves the Theory that Preemies Catch Up By Age Three
Research on the effects of premature birth shows long term impacts beyond preschool age. (Patti Wrape)

Sensory Issues

Sensory Integration Problems in Preemies
Common sensory integration problems in preemies, causes and solutions. (Lindsey Biel)

Overstimulation and Your Premature Baby
Helping your baby and preemie child learn to calm after the NICU experience is essential. (Maren Peterson-DeGroff)

Pain Tolerance in Older Preemies
Preemie parents discuss their preemie children's unusual tolerance of pain.(Rene Milner)

Comforting Touch and Massage Reduce Stress for Preterm Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Although gentle, still touch has immediate positive effects, these studies suggest that preterm infants receive very little of the comforting, nonprocedural touch in the NICU that they so need. (Lynda Law Harrison)

More information on sensory integration in children.

ROP and Vision Impairment

Prematurity and the Risk of Visual Impairment and ROP
Children born premature are at risk for vision problems including nearsightedness, crossed eyes, glasses, lazy eyes, retinal detachment, blindness and other visual impairments. (TrezMarie T. Zotkiewicz)

For more information on vision impairment.

Cerebral Palsy

Motor Impairment Associated with Neurological Injury in Premature Infants
Overview of cerebral palsy in preemies. (Sheena L. Carter, Ph.D.)

Mild Cerebral Palsy and Motor Impairment and Prematurity
How mild cerebral palsy can effect children born premature. (Helen Harrison)

Variability of Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy of Preemies
Diagnosis of cerebral palsy varies widely over time and among practitioners. (Helen Harrison)

Risk Factors and Variability of Cerebral Palsy Related to Prematurity
Brain scans as predictors of mild and severe cerebral palsy in preemies. (Helen Harrison)

Preemie Brain Bleeds
A preemie mom discusses brain bleeds in preemies, sharing her experience in the NICU and providing background information. Nicole Zimmerman

More information on cerebral palsy and movement disorders


Prematurity and Speech and Language Delays
If a child is born prematurely, he may not meet the milestones that his chronological age suggests. (Laura Dyer)

More about speech and language difficulties


Dental Problems Related to Prematurity
Development and common problems of the teeth of premature children. (Diane Maroney)


Constipation and Prematurity
A study on constipation in very low birth weight pre-term infants as they grow older. (Helen Harrison)

Preemie Personality and Psychological Impacts

The Effects of Prematurity on the Social and Emotional Development of School Age Children
Research survey and analysis of social/emotional development of older preemies. (Michelle Bell)
Introduction | Outcome Studies | Process Studies | Premature Birth | Attachment Literature | Object Relations Theory | Summary of Research Literature Findings | Discussion | Implications and Conclusion | References

An Historic Look at Preemie Personality and the Impacts of Premature Birth on Children
A Revealing description of the preemie personality as defined by Dr. Mary Shirley in 1939. (Helen Harrison)

An Historic Look at Observations of Preemie Personality in Girls
Discussion by Dr. Stanley H. Walters of what he saw as common characteristics of preemie girls, 1973. (Helen Harrison)

More information on ADHD/ADD, anxiety, autism and learning disabilities.

More Special Needs Resources

Special Needs Books
The best books on children's special needs - cerebral palsy, sensory integration, special needs parenting, speech and much more.

Children's Disabilities Information website has articles and resources for preemie parents on many special needs related to prematurity. Including ADHD, asthma, autism, anxiety, cerebral palsy, feeding issues, learning disabilities, sensory integration, speech and vision impairment.