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Clare
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We have a child in our setting who will be one next week. He is generally a happy child, full of smiles and cuddles, but I am getting concerned about his physical development.

 

He doesn't like to lay playing on the floor, so sits, mostly propped up with cushions, with books, rattles etc. He has never been able to roll over from front to back or vice versa, although I suspect that this could have something to do with his refusal to play in a laying position.

 

He can not pull self to standing even using furniture, he therefore cannot cruise. He can't even get into the crawling position without adult help, and even then when he is there on his knees and the adult lets go, he basically flops on to his belly and begins screaming.

 

My colleagues and I then discussed the possibility of him 'bum shuffling' but he just sits and no amount of enticement will make him move. We've tried favourite toys, his bottle (which he goes crazy for) and still nothing. When he leans forward from sitting, his foot appears to get stuck under his bottom and he can't seem to untangle himself.

 

Other things we have noticed are how 'floppy' he feels when he is picked up. Sometimes it feels as though I am going to drop him because he tends to go really limp. Another thing I have noticed is that when he is held by an adult in a standing position, his legs remain straight ahead rather than dropping down, almost as if he is sitting on air.

 

We did speak to our manager who suggested we spoke to the parents which we did. Mum and Dad refuse to believe there is anything wrong with his development in this area and are blaming it on Dad's lazy brothers, a family trait apparently. Their solution has been to put the child in a baby walker for two hours per day, one in the morning and one in the evening, which we are doing, but none of us are happy about it. He doesn't move when he is in it. He just hovers there or is moved by the other babies moving him to get past.

 

I think to not even by attempting to roll over at the age of 12 months is slightly worrying to be honest. I don't really know what to do about it either. If I go to my manager, I'll get told to approach the parents again, which I am willing to do, but it seems that they are not willing to accept that there might be a problem, which I can fully understand. I'm worried that if I keep approaching the parents, they are going to get funny with us and think that we are making things up or that we are not listening to them when they say it is a family trait to be 'lazy'.

 

Your advice, as always would be gratefully appreciated! Thanks

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Hi Clare,

 

Obviously, I'm just commenting on your post and please don't take anything I say as 'informed' or whatever, but he does sound like a little girl we have in our setting. At 18/20 months she is still in Baby room, not for neglect, but for protection, although her moving up is being discussed. Thanks to our dedicated and observant manager, outside agencies are now in touch and we get lots of help and support as do the family. The medics are still assessing, attempting to establish exactly the cause of all this 'floppiness' etc, but physio etc is really helping her. I should voice your concerns, however difficult it may be. After all, a child's well being is our major concern. Sorry, no guilt intended!

 

Incidentally, I consider not even attempting to roll over etc by the age of 12 months is way, way beyond 'lazy', and really needs investigating!!

 

Sue

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I agree with Sue that the not attempting to roll over is something that needs investigation.

 

I am trying to visualise his legs 'straight ahead' when you hold him in a standing position. The only case I have had with any similarity is that of a friends child who when (at about 10 months) he was picked up and held in a standing postion would lift his legs rather like an aeroplane taking off if that makes sense. Unfortunately it turned out he did have a medical condition but early diagnosis enabled him to receive all the help and support he and the family needed.

 

It is always difficult when parents are adamant there is nothing wrong but I wonder what the Health visitior position is? Hasn't anything been picked up at routine checks?

 

What is his 'strength' like in his hands/ arms? Does he have a good grip? does he take weight on his arms when put in the crawling position? sorry I seem to be asking more questions instead of offering advice.

 

I wish I could come up with a magic answer but other than starting by getting the parents 'on side' so to speak I really don't know what to say but I do think the little chap needs assessing by an expert - really sorry not to be more help but good luck with it all and do please let us know how things go.

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I dont think it is very good that your manager is leaving you to deal with it,tho i do understand you obviously know the child better.

I would advise you to ask the parents wether you could just ask your area senco (you may want to use another title)(ours are named childrens services now)to come in and advise you 'on stratergies you could put in place to help him thru this area of development',if they dont seem keen do you not have a routine visit from them anyhow?It is easier once they are known and in the system so to speak,'or could they ask advise from their health visito or gP?'

I dont work in a nursery but i did childmind for many years and have looked after many many babies and I think on what you have described you are right to be concerned.

however i have also been on the recieving end of parents in denial just recently and it is very very difficult,I wish you well,good luck,just believe in yourself,and tread very very softly!

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Hi Geraldine.

 

Basically when we pick him up to try and hold him in a standing position, his legs raise up with him, so we are basically picking him up in a sitting position. Does that make sense? Maybe describing it as 'straight ahead' wasn't the right choice of words! He literally stays in a sitting position even when held in an attempt to get him to stand.

 

In terms of his grip and upper body strength, that all seems fine. He can apply pressure to his arms and he is more than capable of gripping his favourite toys or his bottle! It's just the bottom half of him that worries me.

 

I don't know whether the HV has noticed anything as I haven't seen his book and the parents always seem to be in a rush with very little time to talk. The longest conversation we have had with them ended in the family laziness line.

 

Thanks Andreamay.

 

I do intend to make a fuss at work until something is done. This is the first time I have worked with a child who obviously has something going on that needs investigating. Trouble is, I don't know who to speak to and in any case, it wouldn't be my place to. The management take care of all that kind of thing.

 

I will ask about the SENCO though and see what comes of that. Thanks again

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Hi Geraldine.

 

Basically when we pick him up to try and hold him in a standing position, his legs raise up with him, so we are basically picking him up in a sitting position. Does that make sense? Maybe describing it as 'straight ahead' wasn't the right choice of words! He literally stays in a sitting position even when held in an attempt to get him to stand.

 

In terms of his grip and upper body strength, that all seems fine. He can apply pressure to his arms and he is more than capable of gripping his favourite toys or his bottle! It's just the bottom half of him that worries me.

 

I don't know whether the HV has noticed anything as I haven't seen his book and the parents always seem to be in a rush with very little time to talk. The longest conversation we have had with them ended in the family laziness line.

 

Hi Claire

Ah! yes I am with you now! Dont' know that my 'aeroplane taking off' was a great description!!!

 

I really do feel for you and echo your concern. Glad to hear you are prepared to make a fuss until something is done. I can't help but wonder if the parents always being in a rush is part of their 'denial' if you know what I mean. Would it be an idea to arrange a mutually convenient time to have a chat with them rather than conversations on arrival/collection - just a thought.

 

Good luck - will be thinking of you :)

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Hi Clare

 

If you are concerned about the parents reaction why not approach them from their own angle.

 

Could you say to them that you know about the family trait but you would like to ask your senco (change title) to come in and give you advice on how to help encourage their child to progress on to the next stage of his development.

 

It may be worth a try.

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Some years ago I childminded a little boy who showed absolutely no interest in moving at all until he was over 18months old. He hated to be laid down and would scream and cry if he was. If you tried to place him on his feet he would 'crumple' and refuse to take his own weight. He didn't even show any inclination to shuffle on his bottom. He is now 5 years old, at school and I watched him in the Christmas Show - a perfectly normal little boy! :D

 

Regarding your baby, you don't say how heavy he is, as this can have a bearing on how much a baby will move around. Also, baby walkers are really bad for development - I'm surprised you have them in the nursery at all. The best thing you can do is encourage him to sit to build up his physical strength and balance and have lots of stimulating toys around. Hopefully this will entice him to start moving around. :)

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I agree about the babywalkers, and would ditch it immediately.My grandaughter was born in the breech position and her legs took several months to correct themselves,as they were jammed up round her ears for a long time in the womb and she screamed when her mum tried to bring them down into a more normal position.I doubt if weight would be a real issue, some of my own children were humungous and all walked, crawled, rolled over etc either as expected, or early (first one walked at 9 months and she was a VERY chubby baby.............second son was 13lbs 11ozs at birth, continued to develop along that scale and did everything as expected too).presumably, this child has had developmental checks which show no physical problems with hips, bones etc??If so, what about games which encourage use of feet and toes...................paddling, dipping toes into paint and printing them onto rolls of paper, so eventually he'll see a set of prints...........simple things like that??

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No, we don't have any contact with HV at the nursery. I was talking to my colleague the other day and she said that surely if the child was being taken to his routine check ups with the HV that they would have picked something up. I asked her had the child's red book ever been seen and she said no. I know it says in there that it should go everywhere the child does (although not in those words) so if we had access to it, we would be able to see. Only one child comes fully equipped with their red book and the parents are more than happy for us to have a look through periodically, just in case there is something they have forgotten to mention.

 

In terms of his weight, the child if anything is under what is 'expected' so I don't think it is a weight issue necessarily. I agree with you Narnia in that the weight issue doesn't always impact on development as we have some very chubby babies in the unit who are far more mobile than this little one!

 

The day after I posted this, the child did manage to roll over, although I believe it was more fluke than actual trying on his part. My manager is insistent on the baby walker so there is nothing I can do about that although I would love to get rid of it. I never had one for Natalie for the reasons that it could cause problems for her. He did manage to move forward in it too, and now he is always in there, whenever I go past the room.

Edited by Clare
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Guest cathy m

Hi Clare

If you go on the capt website their is a very informative handout as to why babywalkers should not be used. I'm a childminder and in the past parents have asked if they can bring their own and once they here my views they fully accept them and often cease to use the walkers themselves

 

I've found babywalker handout, so I've attached and see below for wesite

 

http://www.capt.org.uk/downloads/default.htm

 

Cathy

factsheet_baby_walkers.doc

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We ae lucky in that all settings in the area have a HV allcated to them so we can ring for advice or they can come in if we ask them to discuss any issues, not needed it so far.

 

As to children having all checks picking something up, this is no longer the case as the checks stop at a young age these days, there used to be a 3 yr check which was stopped years ago, which is why preschools and nurseries have to be aware and often pick up the problems this check would have covered.

 

Inge

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Same as you Inge. we have a HV allocated to our Pre-school. The new HV came to introduce herself in November. With parents consent, obviously, she has pushed for speech therapy for one child, and he has now seen the therapist for the first time, visited a EAL family who wanted help with their son who didn't speak English or even his native tongue (parents are so pleased with her visit) and all before Christmas.

 

Sue J

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