Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nature Verses Nurture - The Great Preemie Challenge.

Lately I've been getting more and more curious  about Preemie brain development and precisely what happens when the premature baby favours a transparent plastic box over good old fashioned womb time.

My inquisitive mind was sent in to over drive when I stumbled across this research paper which highlighted the effects of premature birth on brain development. Oh google...sometimes you really are my worst enemy.

The paper points towards the fact that along side providing good quality care, NICU nurses have an important role in  talking to parents about the potential effects of premature birth including  the increased risks of disorders such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Although inevitably there are neurological differences between babies born at term and premature babies, I was glad to see the paper made allowances for social factors, after all, many researchers will argue that there is nothing more pliable than the human brain, So I think when considering the nature verses nurture argument, it's important to get some context.

Me and One -Day Hubby 

The paper constructively suggests, that instead of banging on about how duff the preemie brain is, it might be better to talk about what can be done to maximise it's potential which I would agree to be a sensible way forward.

So all of this week and last week I've been focusing on the concept of self regulation and programming Smidge to be super smart and Clever.

Unlike Mr G, who would amuse himself for hours as a baby, whilst I tidied and cleaned around him, Smidge benefits from high level of input, whilst the house remains a complete tip.

Unlike Mr G who got a story when he whined for it. Smidge benefits from having book after book during optimal learning times throughout the day..

And unlike Mr. G who thought his middle name was 'five more minutes' Smidge thinks hers is 'Clever girl' or 'I'll be right with you'

So is this because Smidge is  favourite? no. Am I just an older, better Mother?  no.

I just read the wrong research paper.

And now..  frankly I'm  terrified that if Idon't become the nations best story- reading, turn- taking, context -creating, group- going super Mum,then one day, I might just end up with an oversized pre-schooler that I really can't cope with.

Well fellow Premmy Mum's, now my misery is your misery too... But I'm not all mean, because at least I gave  you the self regulation link so that you too can join in on the optimising fun!

See you at the library then...

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