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Understanding My Signals: Help for Parents of Premature Infants
Hussey-Gardner, Brenda, Ph.D., M.P.H.
VORT Corporation / out-of-print pb / 1999-07-01 / 0897180984
price: $0.00 (may be subject to change)
16 pages
This title is currently unavailable.

VORT's materials are intended for use by/through qualified child development specialists / professionals using the appropriate administration manual. These materials are not sold to parents.

The Parent booklet is intended for distribution by NICU, ICN, or Pediatric staff to parents of premature infants. One 16-page Users's Guide (for the staff/professional) is included in each shipment. Available in English and Spanish.

The Understanding My Signals booklet provides information for parents on typical behavioral responses of premature infants. It was written to help parents understand how their young infant communicates. This User's Guide is written for individuals who work with premature infants and their families. This includes nurses, and allied health professionals as well as professionals from the fields of social work, education, and psychology.

The User's Guide provides guidance in communicating the information originally presented in the booklet to parents. It is the belief of the author that parents integrate and use information more effectively when they have the opportunity to discuss and process the information with a knowledgeable professional. It is therefore suggested that, to the extent possible, staff utilize the booklet in conjunction with some or all of the information presented in this User's Guide.


• Facilitates parent involvement: Helps parents recognize and respond to their child's various behavioral signals. Helps parents develop their awareness, knowledge and interactions.
• Written from the infant's point of view: Parents prefer this warm and personal approach. They find the style enjoyable, easier to read, and very helpful in becoming more sensitive to their infant's needs. Written in simple, non-technical language.
• Interdisciplinary: For use by all professionals serving premature infants, nurses, P.T.'s, O.T.'s, and special educators in NICU's and Parent/Infant programs. Developed with feedback from professionals across the country.
• Cost-effective: For just $2.00 per family, you can provide parents with a tool to help them learn how to modulate environmental stimulation according to specific behavioral signals of their premature infant.
• Makes ongoing parent support easier: Goes beyond typical instructions; you review the booklet with parents, they keep it for quick, continuous use. Provides you with a tangible, simple and direct point of reference in your communications with parents.


• A warm letter of introduction to the parent, along with a listing of references, recommended readings and resources for parents.
• Four approach signals that may depict when the premature infant is ready for interaction.
• Four coping signals that may demonstrate when the infant is coping with environmental stimulation.
• Eight avoidance signals that may reveal when the infant is overstimulated.
• Eight strategies that may lead to reciprocal and synchronous interactions with the premature infant.
• 16 page User's Guide with specific instructions, literature review, background on development of the booklet, and suggestions for use.

Reviews/Quotes from Users:

"... one of the first informative and practical accounts of premature infant behavior ... easily shared with parents and staff."
—Infant Development Specialist

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