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Home assessment of overall child development

  • 1.  Home assessment of overall child development

    Posted 08-06-2020 08:33 AM
    Good morning,

    Shortly before the schools were closed, we received a child with identified speech and occupational therapy needs. We did refer her and she  has been receiving therapies. However, both the classroom teacher and the therapists felt that she evidenced a more global delay. We didn't have enough time, given the adjustment period and subsequent closing, to gain all of the observations needed.

    The family is capable and committed, and implements any suggestions, with some progress. However, with 5-6 months of no professional oversight of her overall developmental level, we are concerned. Can anyone recommend an assessment (not a screener) that the parents could somewhat capably (and without causing harm) use so that she could be compared against norms? We have provided support but aren't able to gain a clear picture so that we can provide support overall instead of only through speech and O.T., as well as being ready for school return. Appointments for behavioral and developmental pediatricians are quite delayed here I understand. She just turned four years of age.

    Thank you for any guidance.

    Nancy Little
    Palma Ceia Presbyt Preschl
    Tampa FL

  • 2.  RE: Home assessment of overall child development

    Posted 08-07-2020 02:13 AM

    Perhaps this might work for what you need.

    ASQ-3 and ASQ-SE screening tools help you keep track of your child's development through age 5. They are easy to do, don't take very long, and are based on everyday observations of your child.
    The ASQ-3 includes questions about your child's communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal social skills and can help you identify your child's strengths. The screening questionnaire will also highlight any areas of concern, should there be any.
    The ASQ-SE questionnaire targets social-emotional and behavioral development. It is also observation based, highlighting strengths or potential areas of concern.

    Some doctor's office use this tool. Otherwise it does cost to use this in your program.

    Good luck!

    Linda Jacobsson
    Teen Parenting Program Childcare
    Santa Rosa City Schools
    Santa Rosa, CA

  • 3.  RE: Home assessment of overall child development

    Posted 08-07-2020 09:49 AM
    Thank you for your suggestions. I think we are past the point of a screener and need a fuller assessment. But grateful for options.

    Nancy Little
    Palma Ceia Presbyt Preschl
    Tampa FL

  • 4.  RE: Home assessment of overall child development

    Posted 08-08-2020 08:05 AM
    I like the CDC's Milestones App which is free and provides videos that illustrate the milestones being asked about.  It is free.  I also like the SWYC which has the advantage of including social determinants of health embedded .  It is free, well researched and available in several languages.  It can be downloaded from the Project TEACH website.  In the counties in New York State that have an "Help Me Grow" program (Erie, Niagara, Onondaga, Suffolk and Nassau that I know of) parents can use the ASQ3 and/or ASQ-SE for free.

    Teresa Hargrave
    Syracuse NY

  • 5.  RE: Home assessment of overall child development

    Posted 08-09-2020 12:33 AM
    Hi Nancy,
    I am mental health consultant and licensed educational psychologist.  I was a school psychologist serving the 0-5 population (and 0-22) for 28 years before retiring a few years ago.  I was pleased to hear that you already were able to acquire OT and speech interventions for this child.  When lacking a firm diagnosis, I often encouraged teachers and parents to offer appropriate interventions that would be advised if there was a diagnosis or formal eligibility (as long as they are developmentally-appropriate and evidence-based practices).  Still, I know direct services are tied to these "labels" at times, whether we like it or not.  I like the screeners (ASQ and ASQ/SE) and CDC Milestone tracker mentioned--for their designated purposes, but I gathered you were wanting something more definitive.  I believe it is possible to use the HELP (Hawaii Early Learning Profile) Checklist through a coaching model in the home with parents as the raters. This would work best if a qualified assessor were overseeing--perhaps literally via video.  Certainly the qualified assessor would be necessary to tease out the rating of skills when clear performance was in question.  The HELP does not yield a standard score, but an age score, as I recall.  Again, a qualified assessor would be necessary for scoring.  This might be useful information for your school district or other current service provider to make a determination of additional services that the child may require.  Also, something I particularly like about the HELP Checklist is that it offers a parent-friendly routine-based activity guide to be implemented at home to encourage growth and monitor progress wherever the child might be at the present time.
    Good luck with your quest for appropriate services for this youngster!

    Anita Osborn
    licensed educational psychologist
    0-5 mental health consultant
    Cassel, CA

  • 6.  RE: Home assessment of overall child development

    Posted 08-07-2020 09:00 AM
    It sounds like you're doing so much to support this child and her family.  The suggestion from Linda for the ASQ or ASQ-SE (SE stands for Social Emotional) is a good one.  It's a very easy assessment for parents and teachers to fill out.  There is also the Devereaux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA), which is strength-based, measuring what the child can do rather than what they can't.  It is quite pricey.

    It sounds like you already feel clearly that she has some bigger delays. As you wrote, it's very hard to get a neuropsych evaluation for young children because the waiting times are so long, especially now.  I would encourage the parents to put her on a couple of waiting lists for testing with a pediatric neuropsychologist or developmental pediatrician.  You might be able to pinpoint areas of delayed development through observation and your own assessment but that may not get her the kind of support that she needs.  Unfortunately, often services are only covered by insurance if there is a diagnosis attached.

    I also wonder if you have access to an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant through your Department of Early Education or another agency.  You might try

    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA