Does your child have a developmental issue?
I like burnt popcorn, burnt toast, and burnt potato chips A LOT! So, why am I telling you this in my first blog? Because I am sure many of you are like my husband and do not like your food burnt to a crisp! In fact, I can’t even burn the popcorn because the smell makes him sick to his stomach!
I tell you this because we are all different! As we are different with different tastes and needs – so are your children. Not all children will reach every milestone in their individual development right along with their classmates and this is ok. Allow your child the freedom to be who they are – when they are – and allow their development to belong to them. There are acceptable delays in development that do not indicate a developmental problem.
But – now here we are at the crux of this blog – how do you know when it is a developmental issue and needs a bit more attention? First – observe your child in an honest and unbiased manner. Believe in your gut – if you are thinking something is different in your child than his classmates – do not ignore your gut feeling – talk to his/her teacher first, ask those hard questions – the listen to their responses. And remember different is not bad. There is no good or bad when you raise your child, there is only learning and being taught! Everyone is different and like adults, children learn in different ways too!
Then again, we are back to observation – observe your child in the classroom setting, spend time in the room and evaluate your child as the teacher sees him/her. What do you see? Then talk again to the teacher. I would say – if your teacher is a qualified teacher, you are most likely going to agree on the observations.
Resources are next! Ask your center about their resources if you conclude your child could do with a bit more evaluation by a professional, then ask your center who they use and why. Most centers have direct access to many resources – some even visit the center on a regular basis and are already there and ready to make observations with your child with your permission. And remember, children are amazing, with just a little bit of additional help in one area, they catch up so fast you barely knew they were a bit delayed in a certain area at all. We see this so much in the speech delays – after just a few one-on-one sessions the children are amazingly proficient in speech as their classmates.
I can tell you that if you do not ignore, try to avoid, or pretend everything is A-OK when it is not, your child will excel, and you will be the reason he/she excels. Because you cared enough to look beyond yourself and your expectations and accepted your child’s needs as more important than you or what your friends think.