Developmental assessments

A developmental assessment is conducted for many different reasons, depending on the age and presentation of the child.

During infancy, an assessment is generally requested to reassure parents and to identify sensory, motor, cognitive, and emotional problems early, when they are most amenable to treatment.

A developmental assessment of a pre-school child involves identifying their strengths and weaknesses in neurodevelopmental areas important for learning and development. Health concerns, developmental history, behaviour problems and family history all form part of the testing.

Milestones are useful indicators of mental and physical development and possible deviations from normal. In the ever-changing development of children, milestones represent the average for children to attain but there are variable rates of mastery that fall into the normal range.

What makes testing of younger children so interesting is that children change and grow so rapidly that one developmental task may be problematic at a certain age and another problematic as the child gets older. Re-administering assessments can also provide a standardised method to monitor a child’s progress over time.

Developmental assessments in children are recommended when there are concerns about a child’s ability to meet expected developmental milestones and perform everyday tasks. The aim of the assessment is to identify a child’s strengths and challenges in a range of developmental domains including cognitive, social, emotional, language, physical development and adaptive behaviours, such as self-care and daily living skills. The intention is to help those involved with the child on a daily basis, be it parents, teachers, therapists or coaches, to understand the child’s unique abilities, as this will enable them to provide the right environment in which the child can thrive. Interventions will be created to best accommodate the child’s learning and developmental needs.

Every assessment will be tailored to your child’s age and suspected problem or delay.

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