Thursday, November 5, 2015

7 ways to help a child with delayed development

As a continuation of the previous post, here are some tips for parents...
1. Learn the milestones and ACT EARLY: Always know the skills to expect at a certain age so you will be able to spot any lags in development and talk with your doctor or early intervention specialist right away. 
2. Download a milestone checklist or chart or get one from the hospital and document all progress: Compare with kids his or her age, however, it is important to note that some kids are slower than their mates in reaching their milestones. Premature babies are also often slower to meet milestones so you have to consider gestational age instead of chronological age. To know more about children developmental milestones, check here.
3. Seek the early Intervention of a specialist: Try to get a diagnosis and then seek one of the early intervention specialists to get a thorough developmental assessment. Make sure the specialist knows his onions because a developmental assessment gives you the “big picture” or road map for IEP. For more on assessment check here.
4. Communication: Always talk with your child’s therapist, doctors or special caregivers. Be an active participant in the child’s therapy session (though don’t be in the way, I see that all the time), try to become a sort of mini therapist who would do help in drawing up reasonable targets and follow up.

5. Understand the IEP [Individualized Education Program]: Ask questions if you don’t understand IEP drawn up and be comfortable with IEP drawn up. Make sure it fits the child. Learn more about IEP here.
6. Keep track of progress: Document, minute on the report books and always go through them.
7. Be informed: Attend workshops, Parent forums or join online groups to share experiences, give or be given support.

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