Child Development: When in doubt, check it out!

September 19, 2014

I wrote this blog some time ago.  I've decided to re-post this blog for a variety of reasons.  One of those reasons is that over the past several weeks we have had a surge of parents/grandparents walking in off the street revealing concerns they have for their child.  I'll be honest, a few of these kiddos had significant issues that resembled autism.  For those that know me, I'm not a huge fan of diagnoses, as we treat the needs of the child not the diagnosis.  Having said that, however, we are missing an opportunity to intervene during those critical formative years (birth - 5) where huge strides can be made.  Whenever your in doubt..it pays to check it out!

The other reason is that obviously there is a lack of information available to parents who have concerns about their child's development.  Pediatrician's are usually the first stop, as they are required to provide screenings at various developmental stages.  In speaking with parents, rarely are they given a checklist of what is developmentally appropriate, or are they asked if their child is doing certain things that would indicate there may be a problem.  parents often tell us their doctor told to them to "wait and see" or boys always develop later than girls.  It's time we as parents take control of our child's health and be proactive! 

I often hear from parents that they knew something “just wasn’t right”.  You know what I’m talking about, mother’s intuition, your gut instincts, whatever you want to call it.  We have all had that uneasy feeling that keeps us up at night.  If you have a family or are getting ready to start a family, please consider the following information.  I didn’t learn this in school, I learned these things the hard way, through personal experiences, professional experiences, from “thinking” families, and from continued research as to what is happening to our kids (1 in 6 are diagnosed with a developmental disability).Pregnancy

Before your child enters this world there are many factors that can affect their development. Your genetics, fetal movement, your health during pregnancy, length of labor, and the type of delivery you had  - these can all impact your child’s growth and development.

Once your child enters this world, if you are like most of us (especially if this is your first child), you think, “now what”?  You follow those websites, check in with your doctors, and monitor your child’s development with all those milestones charts.  That’s great if everything is on target and your child is healthy and happy.

What most resources (and doctors) don’t tell us is that some of the things our children experience during those first few years of life can have a dramatic impact on their development.

Red flags that may impact your child's development:colic

  • latching/feeding difficulties
  • reflux
  • colic
  • persistent ear infections
  • congestion
  • constipation and/or loose stools

Your child should experience all the developmental positions – believe it or not, there is a reason they go through these different stages – and they are all important. These include:baby crawling

  • tummy time/back time
  • rolling over
  • sitting
  • creeping (crawling)
  • standing
  • cruising
  • walking

Take it from me, listen to that intuition, that gut feeling. Chances are, if you think something may be wrong you are probably right. Our clinic offers free screenings, and I’m sure other clinics provide the same types of services. If your child does need additional support, we will make recommendations (Early Intervention Programs, school screenings/services, resources, home programming) so when you leave you have a place to start. Remember, “the earlier you start the further your child will go”.  And When in Doubt, Check It Out!

For a listing of Early Intervention programs click here

For our on-line questionnaire for children birth - 5 years, click here

To schedule your free screening please call us at 815-462-4928.

Disclaimer: None of the advice given on this blog is a substitute for therapy or medical intervention. Any information obtained from this blog should be shared with your therapist and your pediatrician.

185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451