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Does anyone do any specific assessment for the identifying developmental delay? I know we have EYFS developmental matters but not sure how robust this is as a tool for identifying developmental delay - the kind that may benefit from some early intervention of some kind from other professionals? I am thinking of things like speech and language delay and autism.

 

There was a web site I found that said that in America a lot of developmental delay is not being picked up before school age - is that the same here does anyone know? Any references or relevant websites on this would be great - I had a quick look on the EYFS website and couldn't find anything but perhaps I didn't look very well?

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Do you have a friendly health visitor that you could contact - they have access to several screening tools and could probably suggest some useful websites and publications.

 

I've got some samples at work - if you have no joy over the weekend, I'll look on Monday and post the names of them then.

 

Just remembered the name of the assessment that our health visitors are always referring to - SCOGS! But there are others and I'll get the references for you. This might give you a starting point anyway.....

 

http://shop.gl-assessment.co.uk/home.php?cat=360

 

Extremely expensive and the same assessment could no doubt be done without all the "specialist equipment"!

Edited by Wolfie
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My Foster son has global evelopment delay, I've just looked through his statement paperwork and found that the Speech & Language therapist use an assessmnt called ACE for Sentence comprehension, Inferential Comprehension, Narrative Information and Narrative syntax. some info HERE

 

They also used THE Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA), more info HERE

 

Also the British Picture Vocabulary Scale test, more info HERE

 

On all the above my foster son scored on the 1st percentile ( average range is between 16th - 84th percentile)

 

There are also genetic and other medical screening tests, however although my F son has a diagnosis of GDD his genetic tests were clear.

 

I found this useful summary and advice about Autism HERE.

I actually attended a training day on Autism yesterday, still need to reflect and read some of the handouts though. The training was more about supporting children with Autism rather than the identification.

 

I would sugges listening to parents concerns, your own professional judgement regarding 'normal' developmental progess, collate observations in any areas of concern and then if still concerned contact your local Area SENCO.

 

Peggy

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Thank you so much for your replies Wolfie and Peggy. I think in a way I am looking trying to put together some simple pre-assessment guidelines for all children that come to the setting - we are in an area of deprivation and there are a lot of additional needs and it would nice in a way to do something more structured than just wait until we notice that something isn't quite right. May be I am talking about 'identification' then rather than 'assessment?'. We do ask the parents at registration about any additional needs - but it would be nice to also do something ourselves based on our own observations, just for the sake of making sure we identify children with any additional needs as soon as possible.

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I would worry though about pre-school practitioners 'screening' children without being qualified to do so. Perhaps this isn't really what you mean, but I thought that it was always recommended that assessment and screening for children who may have additional needs should really be done by paediatricians, etc.

 

I clicked on one of the links Peggy gave - and the British Picture Vocabulary Scale is available only to those practitioners who have been properly trained, and my guess is that this will be the case for most of the tests that professionals use.

 

Personally I think Peggy's advice is the best to follow - we have access to development charts and our own knowledge of child development. This, together with what parents tell us should enable us to identify children who are not making progress and contact other professionals for support.

 

If you are worried about children who may have speech and language difficulties or behaviour patterns which might suggest autism spectrum disorder, then maybe one thing you could consider is how your setting meets the needs of children with these difficulties and adapt your practice accordingly. That way you would be effectively supporting all children in the setting which can be extremely beneficial in including all children.

 

I hope what I've said doesn't come across as a lecture - but you know what I'm like when I get on my soapbox! I'm having problems today stringing a sentence together, so I hope I haven't offended anyone. If anyone is doing a pre-assessment screening tha works well I'd love to hear about it!

 

Maz (off to lay down in a darkened room as we speak!)

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I always understood that Global delay needed to be assessed and identified by the ed psych., although you would obviously be putting forward those children who were not developmentally with their peers.

Dont forget that development can vary from one child to another although normal patterns may also be seen.

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I would love to see a return to the 2 and 3yr developmental check by health visitors for exactly this reason. It can be quite challenging as a practitioner when you recognise that a child may have additional needs when the parents aren't ready to see it themselves.

Any family can ask their health visitor for these developmental checks but they are no longer routine. If there are concerns the HV will complete a SOC (schedule of skills) and if this shows a delay they will be referred to a paediatrician.

Perhaps as settings it would be useful to advise all families to take up these checks!?! not sure what others think about this!?!

We are also given a guide by our authority called Early Communication Guide which has pointers for each age group that may give you reason to refer.

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Thanks for all the interesting replies. Maz - I suppose I was talking about 'screening' children in some sense, but only in terms of identifying possible problems as early as possible - and within the early years professional expertise of child development - so I was thinking of using some standard developmental charts and not anything designed for other professionals (but not eyfs which I don't think quite works for this). It was more a matter of any particularly good charts to use and whether this was a useful thing to do and formalise in some way - rather than our current informal method which is just waiting until someone notices something or the parent tells us something - which is the case at them moment. I just wondered whether a more structured approach might mean that we 'notice' things a little earlier (especially where parents are unaware of any problems - which may be a particular problem in an area of deprivation such as my area).

 

Thanks for the link bethie will have a look at that tomorrow.

 

dcn interesting about the HV checks, although can't see why early years professionals/practitioenrs should not also be seen as 'qualified' enough to assess whether two and three year olds are reaching their developmental goals, given the right tools and training??

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I think you make a good point about using the development charts, Starburst and to be honest I think we probably have our own views on what are the ones we feel most confident with. When I did my DPP we had to make our own development charts from the published ones, and it was interesting to see the variations between Mary Sheridan and others such as Sharman, Cross and Vennis and the Carolyn Meggit ones.

 

In Sally Thomas's book called something like Nurturing Babies Under Four, she has her own charts which describe typical behaviours of children at certain ages. They look a bit like the EYFS ones but she has amended them so that they are more realistic - if your LA has a copy they can photocopy the pages for you under their copyright agreement. Might be worth having a look to see what you think!

 

Perhaps one way you could identify any issues early would be to analysing your observations by comparing the behaviours described to the development charts and seeing where the child is at compared to where the research says they should be, with the usual caveat about how children develop at different rates. I wonder how many of us still do observations in the way we were taught - there seems a lot of emphasis on linking observations to the learning and development section of the EYFs without thinking about what they say about the child as an individual. Perhaps we need to get back to basics?

 

You've started a really interesting thread which has really made me reflect on my practice - thanks!

 

Also very interested about what you say about EYPs assessing whether children are reaching their developmental goals.

 

So much to think about!

 

Maz

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I think your right Happymaz. Starburst my only concern with trying to screen children at the earliest opportunity is that practitioners may start to 'see what they want to see'. The best way is to coninually observe the children, assess their ob's against development norms, plan for next steps to support children who need extra help, challenge etc and if you are at all concerned contact your Senco.

 

I had a new member of staff ask me last week wether one of her key children going to school in September could be colour blind as he got all his colours wrong while doing a textured collage. I had to carefully explain that the child in question could have been testing her. I had to explain to her that while he was doing his collage he may have become bored with the continual 'what colour is that' and gave her the wrong colour on purpose. I asked her to observe him over the next few days and informed other staff members to do the same. The evidence from the obs is that he does know his colours, as was observed before, this was an important lesson for the practitioner, as she didnt think the child could be pulling the wool over her eyes.

 

Therefore I do feel careful observation and intrepretation of the obs is the way to go and any conerns should be put on a CAF and then other agencies involved.

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Do you know where I can get hold of a copy of this? It's not on Amazon!

Of course I do!

 

You can order it direct from the publishers - here!

 

Not sure how much money you have to spend - but it costs £260 plus VAT. This is because Sally wanted everything to be photocopiable (within settings/Local Authorities who have purchased a copy) and it has a DVD which she commissioned herself to illustrate the training materials in the book.

 

Maz

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Oooh, a bit outside my budget then! It looks very good though - Sally Thomas is someone that I've heard a lot about but have never seen or heard. She never seems to deliver any speeches or training in my part of the world! :o

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Oooh, a bit outside my budget then! It looks very good though - Sally Thomas is someone that I've heard a lot about but have never seen or heard. She never seems to deliver any speeches or training in my part of the world! :o

Perhaps you need to become an honorary member of my staff and then you could come on one of our Borough trainings Wolfie!

 

Does your EYP network provide opportunities for CPD? Maybe you could request that they ask her along to one of your training sessions. Not sure how much she costs though.

 

Perhaps the next time we meet up in a pub in the middle of nowhere, I shall bring my copy of her book with me for your perusal!

 

Maz

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Ooh, yes please to all those suggestions!

 

Yes, we do have outside speakers for our EYP Network, maybe Sally Thomas is someone that I should suggest? Where can I find out more about her and how to book her for training? And what are her specialist subjects?

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Ooh, yes please to all those suggestions!

 

Yes, we do have outside speakers for our EYP Network, maybe Sally Thomas is someone that I should suggest? Where can I find out more about her and how to book her for training? And what are her specialist subjects?

Her specialism is putting children's needs at the heart of everything we do, and considering what child development tells us about what they need and how we can best meet their needs. She believes that planning should be minimalistic (but detailed, for all that!) but focussed on how our observations of children inform how we resource our setting to provide children with meaningful, real-life experiences (rather than 'activities'). She believes that the relationship between a child and their key carer is vital in enabling children to make good progress, but also that the key person's relationship with the child's parent and wider family is vitally important if the child is to feel comfortable in our setting.

 

I could go on. I'll email you her contact details so that your people can contact her people!

 

Maz

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