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!
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This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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