I saw a link to this article, a paediatrician from Glasgow thinks that because premature babies have more problems as they grow up than children who are born at term, the schools should have the gestational age on their entry forms.
We actually lied about Violette’s birth history when she was enrolled in school. Our reasoning was that a) we did not want her to be labelled, as many other premature babies are, we did not want teachers and the school to have lower expectations for her because she was extremely preterm. b) premature babies have more difficulties it is true, but many children born at term have difficulties at school also, they should all be able to get the assistance they need. The school should be able (and appears to be able) to identify any problems she has, and develop interventions if needed to address them. How does knowing she was born at 24 weeks help the school to help her?
On the other hand if she had a specific learning problem identified, that the school needed to know about in order to intervene, then yes, they need to be informed and we would have told them. Premature babies have a range of abilities and difficulties when they grow up, just like babies born at term, being born prematurely is not an impairment!
If she now had difficulties organizing her work, and staying on task (the kind of executive functions that many ex-preterms have) then they are not such unusual problems! Lots of children who were born at term also have those problems, and they all need strategies to help them out. Preterm babies problems in such fields tend to improve over time, so when would you stop telling people that she was an ex-premie?
If she had cerebral palsy, and needed help to climb the stairs in the school, then the school needs to know about that specific issue. They still wouldn’t need to know that she was born too early.
I am very proud of my little girl, and not at all shy about telling people that she was born extremely prematurely, but, on balance, I think the school are better to teach her, and evaluate her, without any preconceptions based on her birth history.