Providing Supportive Hospital Environments to Promote the Language Development of Infants and Children Born Prematurely: Insights From Neuroscience

Jessica E. Gormley, Diane L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Rapid neural development occurs beginning in utero and extending throughout a child's first years of life, shaped by environmental input, which is essential for language learning. If this development is disrupted by premature birth and/or related repeated hospitalizations, atypical language development may result even in the absence of severe neurologic damage. Method: This narrative review describes typical neurodevelopment associated with language and the atypical neurodevelopment often experienced by children born prematurely that can adversely affect their language development. Results: We describe evidence-based intervention strategies applicable in the hospital setting that can support the language development of young children who are born prematurely. Discussion: To promote neurodevelopmental growth that will support language learning, children born prematurely need to engage in supportive interactions with others. Awareness of evidence-based strategies can equip health care staff to provide a supportive hospital environment to promote the language development of children born premature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Keywords

  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • brain development
  • hospital
  • language development
  • prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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