All that follows is from the above podcast and show notes.
This podcast helps students develop an approach to developmental assessment. This podcast was written by Peter Gill and Dr. Debbi Andrews. Peter is a medical student at the University of Alberta. Dr. Andrews is a developmental pediatrician at the University of Alberta Stollery Children’s Hospital and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
What follows are excerpts from the script.
Developed by Peter Gill and Dr. Debbi Andrews for PedsCases.com. September 16, 2009
Remember, development and behavior concerns are common. At least 30%of physician visits by parents with young children will include concerns about development, behaviour, or both! Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Leaming Disabilities (LD), and language delays are all more prevalent in kids than diabetes and congenital heart disease and without a doubt will be encountered in practice.
Developmental Surveillance, Screening and Assessment
Well, what are the differences between developmental surveillance, screening and assessment?
Surveillance occurs when developmental attainment is reviewed and recorded with all well-child visits.
Formal screening using standardized tools is often done for children witha high chance of developmental disability, such as those with known medical conditions, a family history of developmental disorders or any social risk, eg, poverty. Concerns elicited by surveillance or abnormal developmental screening scores should be referred for further evaluation. It’s better to refer if you are not sure than to falsely reassure the parent that the child will “grow out of it” because developmental interventions work best if started early.
Developmental assessment, on the other hand, is detailed standardized testing in various developmental sectors done by a physician and/or allied health disciplines. It is often performed by a multi-disciplinary team that may include a developmental
Developmental assessment, on the other hand, is detailed standardized testing in various developmental sectors done by a physician and/or allied health disciplines. It is often performed by a multi-disciplinary team that may include a developmental paediatrician, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, audiologist and teacher. The result of the assessment is a definitive description of specific developmental levels, often given as age equivalents, and formulation of an intervention plan.
A Few Words About Milestones
Milestones are key developmental attainments that occur at predictable points in a time sequence. They are only one tool for assessing development and should not be viewed in isolation. It is important to look at skills that happen before and after a given milestone in the same sector to understand the longitudinal process. You should also look at skills in other developmental sectors expected to occur at the same
chronological age to understand how skills in one sector can affect skills in another. Delays in developmental skills may occur across all sectors (“global delay”), but for many developmental disorders some sectors are more affected than others.
There are a few important caveats about milestones. Milestones are most accurate when they are current, written down and important to caregivers. For example, parents may not remember when their child stood on one foot for 3 seconds, but they will remember when the child first walked! Asking parents to bring in the child’s baby book is often helpful. Details of early milestones are less important when subsequent ones have been attained.