A new guide to help parents worried about their child’s development or who have been told their child has developmental delay has been published by Contact a Family – the only UK charity that supports families with children who have a disability regardless of their disability or medical condition.
The free, practical booklet, Developmental Delay, includes a useful pull-out poster to help parents recognise key skills developed by most children between birth and five years of age, and to encourage them to visit their GP if they are concerned that their child isn’t reaching these important developmental milestones.
Written for parents, Developmental Delay highlights the importance of getting support for their child’s development early on, without waiting for a diagnosis. It includes information on:
- what to do if you are think your child has developmental delay
- how a child is assessed for developmental delay
- what support is available to help you
- top tips from other parents
The publication is the latest in the charity’s About Diagnosis series of guides which also includes Living with a rare condition and Living without a diagnosis.
Anne Brooke, Head of Advice and Information at Contact a Family says: “There can be many reasons why a child takes longer than other children in their development; for example learning to walk, communicate, show affection, and play with others. This can sometimes be the first sign that a child has a long term medical condition, such as a learning disability, autism or rare genetic condition. Doctors might have to wait until a child is older and their symptoms more marked before they can make a firm diagnosis. In this situation, parents will often be told that their child has developmental delay – or global developmental delay if the child’s is slow in developing skills in more than one area.
“It can be very important to get support for the child’s development early on, without waiting for a diagnosis. This might include speech and language therapy, physiotherapy or advice from educational or clinical services. Contact a Family often hears from parents who are struggling to get this type of support for their child, and if your child has a rare condition – or has not yet received a diagnosis – it is even harder. For anyone in these situations it’s important to remember that support is available. We hope that all three guides in our About Diagnosis series will help families access the support and help they need and feel reassured that they are not alone.”
Ella Baines mum of a disabled son and also a London GP says:
“All three guides are really practical and positive whilst being realistic also. They will be useful for parents and GPs alike. As a GP I know that I will only deal with issues like these infrequently. Having clear and uncomplicated guidance can help GPs manage the concerns and expectations of worried parents. At the same time they can help them understand more about the frustrations felt by parents who are waiting a diagnosis or receive no diagnosis at all for their child. As a parent of a disabled child I can empathise with these feelings and hope that the guides will help families access vitally needed support and advice.”
Parents can request a free copy of any of the guides by calling freephone 0808 808 3555 or visit www.cafamily.org.uk for more information.