In the family survey that was sent out, we asked you to tell us what you would ask a child development expert if given the opportunity. We received some great (and challenging) questions that we want to share and help answer using the knowledge and expertise that we have here at UCCC.
In this second installment, we want to focus on understanding your child’s development.
· Should I be concerned about my child’s speech?
· How is my child developing?
· Is my child developing normally?
We are going to try to help answer some of your questions around development and what you can do if you are concerned.
How is my child developing and is it normal?
One way to find out about your child’s development is to ask his or her teacher. Your child’s teachers are a wealth of information about your child’s development. Did you know that the teachers at UCCC are frequently observing and documenting each child’s development? We also use the DIAL and DECA to help us understand how each child is developing. Teachers usually share all of this information with families during conferences, but are always happy to share this information if a family has a question or concern.
Another way to help understand your child’s development is to do your own observations. Observe how your child plays and interacts in different situations (at home, at the park, at a family member’s house, in the grocery store). Then you can use your own observations to discuss with your child’s teacher or compare to developmental milestones. If you want to know more about what is typical for your child’s age, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Learn the Signs, Act Early website.
It is important to know that there is a wide range of ‘normal’ for children in meeting developmental milestones and each child is an individual. Also remember that you are the expert on your child. If you are concerned or feel that something isn’t quite right, trust your gut and seek out support.
What can I do if I am concerned?
Discuss your concerns with someone. You can talk with your child’s teachers, UCCC’s Educational Support Specialist (Jessica), or your child’s pediatrician. Any of these people will help connect you with the appropriate resources to support your child and family. You can also reach out to your school district’s Parents as Teachers program or Missouri’s First Steps program.
Check out this awesome resource with developmental milestones, tips for supporting your child’s development, and when and how to get help for concerns.
Post by Jessica Sims