|Reports & Publications - Annual Report 2002 - 2003
If Your Toddler is 18 Months, Check Your Mail!
The Healthy Babies/Healthy Children (HBHC) program of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is promoting growth and development awareness to the parents of toddlers in the tri-county. Many parents ask themselves if their child is able to do the skills and activities that other children the same age doing. When they ask questions, or express concern, some people tell these parents to "wait and see" or the child "will do it when he/she wants to". Research has proven that this attitude is not the most helpful. Any child with a possibility of a delay, or behavioural difficulty, should be investigated as soon as possible. Identifying children in need of extra help or support in the years before th the child's 6 birthday is very important because the brain is developing more rapidly than any other time in his/her life. Any extra help that the child receives during this time can help him/her reach developmental milestones, do better in school and reach his/her potential. For this reason, parents of children 17 months old are being mailed a copy of a developmental checklist and a letter explaining the importance of parents monitoring their child's growth and development. We are encouraging them to answer the questions on the checklist and to take the completed screen to their health care provider at the child's 18-month medical appointment. A gift for the toddler is also included in the package.
The checklist, called the Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS), was developed in 1993 by a group of professionals working with infants and children. The screens were updated in 2002 after reliability and validity studies were conducted as part of the HBHC evaluation. The Nipissing District Developmental Screen is an easy to use tool that allows the parent to record the development of their child. It also gives suggestions on how the parent can help their child's growth and development. The tool helps to identify children who might be in need of increased intervention in the early years of life. It is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. Additional information about the Nipissing screen is available online at their website.