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Finding Your Way - Developmental Delay

Many families will be familiar with the term developmental delay but it can be really confusing knowing what this means and where to go for help.

Some babies born early or with health conditions will have their growth and development followed up by a hospital paediatrician, (a children’s doctor). In Norfolk this might be either at the Queen Elizabeth, Kings Lynn, 01553 613613, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, 01603 286286 or the James Paget Hospital, 01493 452452.

If your child is well but you are worried that they are not developing in the same way or at the same rate as other children, in the first instance you could look on Just One Norfolk for some useful ideas. If you want to talk to us at the Healthy Child Programme, please contact Just One Number to speak to a health practitioner.

  • Children develop at different rates but as part of our screening we will ask you to complete an Ages and Stages questionnaire which gives us an idea if we need to follow up your child more closely.

    We might review your child using a play based assessment called a SOGS, Schedule of Growing Skills. This gives us a picture of your child’s strengths and areas which might need further support.

    Watch the videos below to see these assessments taking place.

     

  • If there are worries about your child’s movement, for example not being able to sit up or put weight on their legs at the expected time, we would ask you to make an appointment with your GP.

    The GP would examine your child and decide if they needed any further tests.

    Sometimes a referral to a children’s physiotherapist is made and a plan of support put in place.

    Depending on where you live in the county these appointments might be in a community hospital, an acute hospital or if necessary at home.

  • There are lots of ideas for supporting communication and speech / language development on our Talk and Play Pages.

    If you are worried about your child not talking we might need to arrange a hearing test. This would take place at the audiology department in your local hospital.

    If your child is attending a nursery or childminder and there are worries about speech and language development they can refer you to a speech and language therapist. This service is provided by East Coast Community Healthcare, there is also a helpline for families and professionals on 01502 719830.

     

  • If following our SOGS assessment you agree with us that there are concerns about your child we would refer to a community paediatrician . These are doctors who specialise in child development. There may be a wait of about 18 weeks before your child is seen, but during this time lots can be done to support you and your child. These paediatricians usually work in community bases such as St James Clinic, King’s Lynn, 01553 665800, Norwich Community Hospital 01603 776776 or the Newberry Clinic, Gorleston 01493 442322.

    The paediatrician will examine your child and take a history. They might also arrange some routine blood tests. These are usually done in a hospital clinic with specialist doctors at a separate appointment. A special cream is usually put on the skin so that this does not hurt your child.

  • If your child is under 5 years the paediatrician may tell you that your child has global developmental delay. In the pre-school years it is difficult to tell how much progress a child will make and whether or not the gap between them and their peers is growing or if things are improving.

    Some children will have special educational needs as a result of this delay and will need additional help in nursery and school.

    We might ask your permission to tell our partners in Education that we think your child might need help in their nursery or future setting. 

Things You can Do To Help...

Parents are the best and first teachers of their child / children. On Just One Norfolk you will find lots of ideas on how to support your child’s development. It is difficult sometimes when you know your child is different to others and things you have tried do not seem to work. Families tell us that it can be hard taking your child to groups and activities when other parents compare or start to ask questions.

If necessary a member of our team could discuss options for further support. These might include;

  • The Early Years and Family service
  • Portage services
  • Homestart

There are also lots of charities and organisations who offer support to families with children with additional needs. Most services can be found on the Norfolk county council local offer.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) Health Questionnaire will help you to think about your knowledge, skills and confidence in understanding and supporting your baby or child’s health. The results of this can help us, to support you, in setting goals and priorities in a way that is right for you and your family. On completion of the questions you will be signposted to some self care resources which are tailored to your responses. This will help you to take steps to improve your family's health and wellbeing. *Click Here* to find out more. 

                  

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