What a Development Assessment Looks Like

If you, your childcare provider or your child’s healthcare provider is concerned about your child’s development, it might be time to have him or her assessed for developmental delays.

Depending on the area of concern and on your child’s age, an assessment will be tailored to your child. This will likely include detailed questions for you to answer about your child’s growth and development, as well as tests for your child’s hearing, vision, play skills and other tasks.

It can be difficult to cope with a recommendation to assess your child’s development—many parents feel guilty, nervous or afraid. Remember, though, that this is only an assessment—a tool to help you and your child’s doctor to evaluate him.

Everything could turn out to be perfectly normal or your child may need some treatment. Either way, it’s important to report delays or concerns to your child’s healthcare provider and to keep in mind that all assessments have one goal: to help your child stay healthy and well.

What to Look for in Your Child’s Assessment

Several key elements need to be part of any development assessment:

  • Parents, the people who know their child best, need to be involved with the professionals.
  • Along with your input, the assessment should be conducted by a team of experts who specialize in child development as well as areas such as hearing, sight and so on.
  • Make sure your child is evaluated in a number of different situations and with different people. Children are individuals and react to different situations in a variety of ways.
  • Assessments are about strengths—skills that have been mastered—as well as difficulties or areas of potential problems.
  • You should be allowed to stay with your child at all times during his assessment.
  • Remember: This should be something that helps, not hinders, your child and evaluates whether and where more help is needed!

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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