Margaret Mulholland

What teachers can do to help students born prematurely

A greater awareness of the learning challenges that preterm children can face would help teachers to provide support where needed, writes Margaret Mulholland

How teachers can support students born prematurely

Meet Becky. She is 12 years old and was born at 23 weeks’ gestation. She finds it difficult to concentrate, make friends and cope with multiple demands. She also struggles with low self-esteem.

To her teachers in primary, she appeared happy and willing to please. But now, at secondary school, her vulnerability is beginning to show, and she is becoming more socially and academically isolated.

Her situation is not an unusual one. Eight per cent of all births are premature (born before 37 weeks of gestation), which equates to at least two children in most classes. Do you know who they are ...

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