Federal Legislative Issues Relating to Preterm Infants
PREEMIE Reauthorization Act Passage in the Senate
On November 15, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act (S.1440). The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes federal research, education and intervention activities related to preterm birth and infant mortality. The bill will now be taken up by the House of Representatives. The legislation was originally enacted in 2006 and brought attention and resources to research addressing the issue of premature birth. The reauthorization of the bill will ensure continued federal support for scientists and doctors who are studying the causes of premature birth and how they can be prevented. PREEMIE is an abbreviation for the Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early. For more information, click here.
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Urge Congress to Protect Early Intervention Programs
Children who are at increased risk for developmental problems include those born very prematurely or at very low birth weight, as well as those with known neurological abnormality or at birth and those who are very ill during the newborn period. While most prematurely born children and many children with other serious neonatal conditions eventually develop beyond any problems associated with their early experiences, frequently there are developmental issues that need to be addressed as early as possible in order to prevent further complications (such as growth problems in children with feeding difficulties and language delays in children with hearing loss).
If your baby experienced difficulties at birth that increase his or her chances for developmental difficulties, you may have been invited to participate in a high-risk follow-up program. Follow-up programs exist to track the progress of children who have an increased likelihood of developmental problems that tend to appear gradually over the first several years of life. These developmental problems include major handicapping conditions, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, blindness and deafness, but also include more common issues like developmental delays, growth problems, and various types of sensory impairment (vision and hearing problems). Early identification of developmental difficulties is believed to be critical to the success of treatments for these conditions.
Above excerpt taken from http://www.childrensdisabilities.info/prematurity/followup.html
Part C Early Intervention programs are one example of a high-risk follow up program; for more information see: http://www.nectac.org/partc/partc.asp#overview
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