Should we routinely track our children’s development?

My little guy is now almost 18 months old and we recently received our 18-month Well-Baby package in the mail from HaltonParents. I love it when my work helps me out in my home life!  The package includes information about this important 18-month progress check with your family physician or health care provider that we recommend all toddlers receive. This visit is an ideal time for a detailed discussion on how your toddler is growing and developing and is a chance for you to ask lots of questions. (Didn’t get a package? Dial 311 in Halton or check out this link).

One Year Old Boy Taking First Steps With MotherThe package includes the Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS), one to complete when your child is 15 months or older, and another when your child is 18 months or older. I’m a big fan of the NDDS, which comes in a wide range of ages (from 1 month to 6 years) and I use them with both of my little ones. They’re fun, easy-to-use and include great ideas for ways to play with your child. What’s important to know about these screens is that they list developmental milestones or behaviours that almost all children should be able to do by that specific age. While I’m not a fan of causing unnecessary worry, I strongly believe in finding out if my child’s development is on track and in getting professional help early when needed. I have personally benefited from early identification and early professional support, as I have hearing loss and received years of speech and language therapy (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

Completing the NDDS Screen

I’ve completed the NDDS with my child and have found one or more “Nos”

This happened with my son, and while it’s concerning, is nothing to be panicked about. I strongly recommend talking to one of my colleagues about the results of the NDDS and any other concerns you might have. Dial 311 or call us at 905-825-6000. Our child development services are 100 per cent voluntary and are there to support you and your child.

Please do not take the wait and see approach. While it is true that some kids just suddenly catch up, it’s more likely that a delay now could mean a delay later, making it harder to catch up in time for kindergarten. Keep in mind that if your child has a delay, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong. As for my son,  thanks to help from a developmental consultant, I’ve learned that my son and I have very different learning styles, and that I need to talk to him in a completely different way than what makes sense to me (but that’s a story for another blog post).  Ever since I’ve started to getting help I’ve seen huge improvements in him and he is so proud of himself!

My child scored all “Yes” on the NDDS but I still have questions or concerns

Halton Region has free drop-ins called ASK (formerly DEIPP) for infants and pre-school children  who are not yet old enough for junior kindergarten. The purpose of ASK is to provide a quick 15-minute consultation for parents who have questions about their child’s development.

Do you have a story about challenges you have faced or any concerns you have with your child’s development? We’d love to hear more.

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Andrea Scott RN

I’m a public health nurse with the HaltonParents team – you’ll find me blogging, tweeting and answering emails. I’ve been working for the Halton Region Health Department since 2006 and my focus has been on supporting parents with babies and little kids. I have two little ones myself, “Pumpkin” and “Monkey” who give me plenty to blog about! :)
This entry was posted in Babies, Parenting, Physical Health, preschoolers, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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