Use intuition on child’s progress
IS my child normal?
A question asked by every parent at some stage in their child’s development.
It is impossible not to compare your child with others – whether that be siblings at the same age or friends from daycare or mothers’ groups.
We need to remember that infants and children will all develop at different rates depending on so many different factors, both genetic and environmental, but what should you do if you have a real and persisting concern over your child’s development?
Multiple studies will tell us that early diagnosis and instigation of therapies is essential in developmental disorders.
How can we ensure that we are picking up the diagnosis of these children early enough and where to go if you have any of these concerns?
Your family GP or your local community health nurse should be the first place for an initial assessment and conversation about your child.
Community health nurses have standardised assessment tools to use and most GPS should be well versed in child development.
The areas of a child’s development that need to be considered in a full developmental assessment are gross motor, fine motor, speech and language, personal or social, cognitive and general behaviour.
As a GP with some years of experience in child health and developmental disorders, the ‘red flags’ list is something I always have in mind but I have also learnt that a parent’s instincts are always to be considered first and foremost and listening carefully to their concerns is the place to start.