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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 07:55 AM   1
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Micro-preemie student- undiagnosed syndrome?

I apologize in advance if I come across as insensitive or ignorant, I haven't researched much into premature babies or disorders that may be associated.

I am a teacher at an Intentional school in Tokyo and one of my students is a 5 year old girl, who was a micro-preemie. Mum mentioned she was in intensive care for quite a while when she was born and they almost lost her.

She's been at the school about 5 months now and before she properly enrolled started, we asked her parents if we could get an official diagnosis of her condition from a doctor as it was obvious that she had physical and intellectual differences compared to her peers.

The diagnoses literally just came back as "premature" but that was it (Japanese health care is pretty grim)

Basically I'm not satisfied with that diagnoses. I am aware that many micro preemies grow up to be like any other child but it's pretty obvious that she has significant mental and physical differences so this is why I am not satisfied with this diagnoses.
I was wondering if anyone could shed any light onto any other possible conditions for this child.

here's a few things to note about her.

Her younger sister is also in our class. She wasn't born premature and has a typical appearance. her and her sister have similar appetites but the youger sister would be considered 'chubby'.

- She is very thin, with very little muscle tone and body fat
- her face, which is probably the most striking thing about her, is very angular and sunken, even in her baby pictures from when she was a few months old, she had almost no baby fat on her cheeks like you would expect, almost like a elderly man
- she has far spaced and small teeth
- she has obvious wrinkles on her forehead, around her eyes and mouth, almost like what you'd expect from someone in their mid/late 20s.
- When she gets nervous or upset she breathes shallowly through her nose, almost like she's hyperventilating
- She has a very wide ear-to-ear smile
- When she walks or runs she's hunched and has her arms out in front of her like a t-rex

Intellectually, she is almost entirely non-verbal and mostly grunts to communicate and says little else other than her sister's name. She does not participate in class at all and is happy to just sit there. She's not interested in playing with her peers but likes observing babies or children younger than her. Sometimes she tries to interfere with what they're doing or tries to pet them, almost like they're a cat. She doesn't show autistic symptoms particularly. She doesn't react to other people's emotions or seems to show an understanding of them.
She's 5 years old which is a 1.5 year gaps between herself and the second oldest peer in the class. She wasn't able to move up to our next class as she isn't potty trained (and won't potty train I won't get into that)
When she's left alone in a quiet room, she'll sit there and do nothing, but when she's in a room of people she'll run around making noise, but won't interact with her peers at all. She has no fear of strangers

I feel terrible for her because none of the teachers in our school are qualified to deal with kids who require special care and because we don't know the true extent of her condition, we feel like there is more we need to do to be able to give her appropriate care that she needs but don't know what to do.

Thank you!

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