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Worried about your child's development?

All children develop at different rates. However, there are certain milestones parents and professionals can use to check if children are developing as expected.

As a parent, you might be worried if your child achieves their milestones, like sitting, talking, or playing, later than their peers. If you’re concerned worried about your child’s health or development, it's important to talk to someone.

There is lots of support and advice available to help you and your child. This includes online resources you can use to see if your child is developing at an expecting rate, such as: Baby's development - NHS (www.nhs.uk) and I can Progress Checker home

What you can do

  • Contact your health visitor, school nurse, GP or drop into your local children’s and family centre. If your child is at school or nursery, discuss your concerns with them too.
  • Write a list of questions and take them to any appointments
  • Use your child’s health record (red book) so  that any advice and actions can be written down by the person you are speaking to
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand
  • Ask what happens next and what to expect

Health and development reviews

All children are offered health and development reviews by the health visiting team. These are scheduled when your baby is one year (12-15 months) and again between 2 – 2 ½.  This appointment is a chance to discuss any questions you may have about your child’s health, growth, and behaviour.

The team use questionnaires called the Ages and Stages (ASQ) and Ages and Stages Social and Emotional (ASQ SE) to help these assessments. These will be shared with you before the appointment. If there are any concerns, we may monitor these, or refer you to specialist services who can offer further assessment and support. We can also advise you on how to support your child.

As well as these appointments, you can talk to your Health Visitor, School nurse or GP at anytime.

What professionals will do

If there are concerns about your child, your health visitor, school nurse, GP, or school may:

  • Give you advice on how to support your child
  • Signpost you to local groups/drop ins that can help your child’s development
  • Monitor  and review progress
  • Refer to another more specialist health team

If referred to a specialist health team, different groups of professionals may be involved in your child’s care. This will depend on your child’s individual needs.