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Hi folks,


wondered if anyone can help me with this?


I started looking after a litle girl about 6 weeks ago who was 3 in June, and I am concerned that her development is not at all on track. I am not sure how long I should leave it until I raise this with her parents.....


I have observed the following..


Instead of joining in and playing with other children both older and younger than her, she mimics them, what they say, how they say it etc.

She is often seems in her own world , when all the children are doing an activity she will wander around aimlessly

She cannot draw a circle

She doesn't recall events easily, and repeats the same question over and over not seeming to take in or understand the answer, e.g she constantly asks me where the cat eats his dinner, I show her over and over again

She has a blank expression and will just stare at the other children, she only smiles or laughs if you smile or laugh first

She is always falling over, and when she does she does not get up herself


Everybody who meets her asks me if she has special needs - I have purposefully waited a few weeks for her to settle in before readdressing this , as soon as I had spent a few days with her I thought there might be a problem and while she is more confident in some ways I can see that certain situations are very challenging for her. I don't know where to go next with this ? She attends the same preschool as my daughter and I would have thought they would have picked something up ... however in a group setting she does just mirror what everyone else is doing so maybe they will notice more when they do more one to one with her ???? I have looked at lots of info and wondered whether this could be dispraxia ? I know it is not up to me to diagnose, but I just wonder what is the next step.........


thanks for any help you can offer ......

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Its hard to comment without seeing her as some of the behaviour we often have at pre-school .. like unable to draw a circle.. sometimes not even until they leave us.. falling over and not picking themselves up.. after observing with parents we often find it is because someone has always been there to do it for them and htye hav enot had to do it! Interacting with others is sometimes a while for some children, we oftgen ahve them at 3 not yet interested in other children.


Suggestions.. written observations to back up your feelings.. chat to parents about what she can do at home, how she plays etc.


With EYFS.. makes it easier to chat with pre-school ask permission from parent first and then see how they feel she is developing. Ask area SENco or inclusion officer for advice.


Must be others with ideas



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Good advice from Inge, your description about her questioning over and over, and repeating questions, is similar to my foster son. He is ten, diagnosed with global development delay - a very broad diagnosis which varies for each child. However one aspect of this for my lad is his short term memory, thus the repetition, he also finds it difficult to understand basic concepts, his ability to accomodate and assimilate information.


When you approach parents is as soon as you can, maybe pick one aspect that concerns you the most to discuss with them initially, rather than a list of can't do's , ask if they'd mind you having a chat with the child's health visitor as well as preschool.


As Inge say's observations are so useful in showing context and actual behaviour rather than what you think.


Good luck, let us know how things go.



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Guest jane707

Have you checked what she is doing against the eyfs?


I found this very useful with a little boy I work with... I checked what the eyfs said for his age and stage of development and looked at what he was doing bearing this in mind.


Then I made my observations and thought about next steps to bring on his development. I concluded that his parents were doing everything for him and this was the cause of many of the issues I had initially raised.


However, there were still one or 2 outstanding and I spoke with parents about these.


Parents get frightened if they think you are criticising their child, they do not want you to compare their child with one of yours or any others and they get defensive if they think the Govt (via eyfs) is telling them their child is a failure, so I was very careful in how I raised my concerns.


Good luck with this.

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Hi Charliewarl!

Childminding can seem very lonely when you have concerns like these!

Are you part of a childminding network? In Dudley we can call upon the support team and they'll pop out for a visit while the child is with you - it helps to have someone to share your observations and concerns with and they may have more experience to call upon. If they share your concerns they can signpost you to additional help and support you when you discuss this with the childs parents. I'd try them first! (If you're not part of a Network you're welcome to PM me and I'll ask my Network co-ordinator for advice on your behalf if that would help?)

If this is not an option, I'd ask at pre-school to see if they have similar observations - they may already be putting wheels in motion. Keep recording your thoughts, impressions and observations and mention them to the parents when they collect the child. The parents may genuinely not realise the possible implications and have accepted these traits as part of the child's personality/behaviour.

Perhaps share the EYFS pack with them and explain you are putting things in place for September for ALL the children you care for and ask how they think their child is developing - this may be a starting point for them to open up and discuss their own thoughts and feelings with you.

A difficult situation which I'm sure you will approach sensitively - ask yourself how you'd want it to be brought to your attention?

Good Luck!


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