THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2021
The Miracle Month of May is a time to highlight the support Miracle Babies Foundation, Australia’s leading organisation, provide to premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them. With 132 babies born each day requiring specialised care, we need you to help us help them.
This Miracle Month of May we are highlighting the launch of our Australian-first support resource the Nurture Information Hub, also known as Nurture ‘E’. Nurture ‘E’ - The EEE Impact, has been created in collaboration with parents and health professionals, to provide new and improved evidence, education and empowerment for families of premature or sick babies, as well as the children themselves as they grow and develop.
Every year in Australia more than 48,000 newborn babies require the help of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Nursery (SCN); and 27,000 of these babies are born premature. For families of these sick or premature babies, vital information which provides insight on their growth and development into childhood, teenage and even adulthood years is difficult to find.
Throughout the Miracle Month of May we’re highlighting certain sections of Nurture 'E'. This week we’re looking at the High School Years. This section of Nurture 'E' is aimed at supporting families, and those born premature or sick, through the emotional and challenging teenage years. As miracle teenagers enter their high school years, this time can be a whole new chapter for many families and new challenges may emerge. Most learning or developmental difficulties would have been identified in primary school, however new challenges and difficulties can arise at this time, particular around social skills, communication, and peer interaction.
Miracle Babies CEO and Co-Founder, Kylie Pussell watched her second daughter, Scarlet, encounter challenges at school after being born at just 25 weeks gestation. When twins, Scarlet and her brother Marcus were born, they both required resuscitation at birth and were cared for by the NICU. Sadly, after a few days, Marcus passed away due to complications from his extreme prematurity. Scarlet required ventilation, and developed retinopathy of prematurity, which required surgery. Scarlet was cared for in the NICU at Liverpool and Westmead Children’s Hospital and was discharged home just before her due date, four months later.
Image: Scarlet in the NICU
Image: Scarlet now
Scarlet struggled with fine hand movement and needed speech therapy early in her schooling years. Now, as a 17-year-old, Scarlet reflects on her time in high school and recognises multiples ways she navigated high school as an ex-prem.
“During high school there were some challenges I encountered, such as struggling to understand and process information I was given. I also needed extra support in the classroom for areas I didn’t understand.
The major challenges I faced, was remembering instructions and needing to be told multiple times before I understood. Some of the smaller challenges included not being confident in social activities; meaning I was too shy to ask for help in front of others in the classroom. I also struggled with my attention span while trying to learn.
Thankfully, I had extra support provided to me during my time in the classroom, but I did prefer to work one on one. I feel like the teachers didn't understand how to explain the work or break down the work for me, so I could acknowledge what was being explained.
Overall, the teachers saw that I needed extra help and were accommodating to help me in the areas that I needed more support in. I would love for school kids with the same level of learning difficulties, to have teachers that are aware and more accommodating for them; to help the kids understand and encourage them to be more comfortable in asking for help in front of the class.”
The Miracle Babies Foundation parent information hub Nurture 'E' - The EEE Impact, is designed to assist families and teens through the High School years ahead. Areas already covered in the High School Years section of Nurture ‘E’ include:
To find out more visit our Nurture 'E' information hub here.
Alongside promoting our new online resource, we also have many amazing events on throughout our Miracle Month of May. Find out more here: https://www.miraclebabies.org.au/content/upcoming-events/gjitu8