PREMATURITY OR BIRTH TRAUMA

Babies with a history of a premature or traumatic birth are more likely than other children to have developmental delays, motor delays and learning difficulties at school. These children also often have some degree of sensory processing difficulty.

Early intervention has been shown to be the best in terms of preventing long-term issues and psychological complications as children struggle to keep up with their peers. We do clinic treatment, home and school visits with the aim of facilitating normal development, normal play, normal movement patterns and normal learning foundations. We find that in this way, the children can then take advantage of the early education programs such as Day care, Pre-prep and Prep more fully.

We DO NOT recommend “waiting to see if the child will grow out of it” as they often don’t.

Because young children’s brains are developing so quickly, early intervention also means that the duration and costs of therapy are often less.

Markers that indicate an assessment by a Kids Matters OT would be beneficial
For children zero-two years the markers include:

  • History of premature birth
  • History of traumatic birth
  • Emotional or physical trauma soon after birth (such as extensive separation)
  • Globally slow milestones
  • Diagnosis of cerebral palsy, suspected cerebral palsy, or any diagnosed medical or developmental condition
  • Lack of normal responsiveness to people or the environment / lack of interest in the world
  • Over-responsive to sensations
  • Over or under active
  • Family history of learning difficulties, attention difficulties or autism/ aspergers.
  • Parents struggling to cope with behaviour

Kids Matters Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists are committed to early intervention – the earlier we can see them, the easier it is to help them reach their developmental milestones in the most “normal manner”. We see babies from 3 months of age to facilitate normal development:

For children three-five years the markers markers include:

  • Lack of interest in learning activities including puzzles, letters and numbers
  • Lack of interest in movement or fine motor skills
  • Can’t sit still
  • Flits between activities/ lack of persistence and finishing
  • Clumsy movement and delayed language (seen together)
  • The “over-talkers” with poor movement skills
  • Excessively fearful and cautious children
  • Excessive over-activity and movement (they pull the doctor’s office apart)
  • Obsessiveness and narrow interests
  • Limited range of play skills
  • Parents struggling to cope with behaviour