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Worrisome Family - Please Help

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We are at a very early stage with this family - the child is 2ys 3 months and has only been attending for about 6 weeks (1 and a half hours only)

Straight away we picked up that something wasnt quite right with this child and her mum and there is definitely developmental issues with both of them.

The child screams like a baby on and off for the whole session and wont accept any attempts to soothe her or talk to her by ANY adult. If we talk to her she will either scream or turn away.

If we try to pick her up she struggles, screams and then crawls away (not walks) to the door where she will continue screaming.

Her speech is very delayed - I have only heard her say mummy and the screaming is very baby like.

When mum picks her up she doesnt seem to want to go to her despite being upset the whole session.

I have spoke to mum and she is happy for us to get her on the 2 year pilot and it seems like the MAST have already done a home visit with the family.

I rang MAST before leaving and so hopefully we can get this family support. In the meantime how do we engage this child - in 8 years in childcare I have never witnessed anything like it and I am really worried about this family


update - MAST have rung back - she isnt on their files - I am going to speak to them on Weds

Edited by Rachael1820
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What is is about mum/the family that worries you? How did the conversation with her go? Were you able to tell her about your worries about her child's development? Does he have regular contact with her health visitor? Were any concerns shared with you during the induction process, or revealed when the family completed the registration paperwork/initial profile? Do you know if this behaviour is only happening when she's with you or does it happen at other points in her day?


I'm not sure what MAST is, but if you think this child has significant developmental delay then you should follow your procedures for involving other professionals in her care. It might be appropriate to get your Ed Psych to come and observe her in the setting, and obviously you'll need to continue observing to see if there are any obvious triggers to her crying. I'd also find out from mum if there is a preferred way of comforting her, or if she relies on a comfort object at home. If so, having that to hand might help.


I don't have any magic tips to offer with regard to engaging the child though. We had a little girl who did very similar things: very little language, screaming her head off and resisting all advances from any adult. We were just very patient, carried on with what we were doing until eventually she was interested enough to come and see what we were doing. We made the most of those brief parts of the day when she wasn't crying and bit by bit she got used to us. That said, she didn't have any kind of developmental delay: just and extremely adverse reaction to mum leaving her in the morning.


Hope you get some support soon!

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Mum is just very 'strange' - I know that isnt helpful though! Apparently she used to work in our setting years ago and used to fall asleep all the time!

MAST is the multi agency support team in Sheffield

Mum says that she has been told by someone? (she cant remember who) that the only area she is delayed in is her walking - she didnt walk til nearly 2.

This cant be right though as the little bits of speech we have heard have no initial or ending sounds eg 'mommy i ow' is 'mommy sit down'

I have e mailed my observation to our EYFS consultant and hopefully she can help too

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