Three reasons to seek help
Sometimes parents sense there is something wrong but are reluctant to admit that their child has difficulties . ‘’So what if he is not very good , we love him the way he is ‘’. Loving your child the way he is fine but sometimes parents are too accepting and are satisfied with their child’s abnormal development , even if their child is not. Below are three valid reasons to seek help if you are uncertain :
Does the problems get in the child’s way ? The answer is yes if he struggles with normal everyday life activities that would be expected for his age : playing , jumping , communicating with others, climbing , making friends , progressing at school . The child is growing older but does not seem to be getting better at all the physical or intellectual tasks of everyday life.
Does the child’s problem get in other people ‘s way ? Sometimes the child behaviour may not bother the child but everyone else. These includes being annoying or aggressive , reckless , hyperactive , being unable to concentrate .
A professional is worried about your child : this may involve the kindergarten teacher , your paediatrician or a therapist . If a professional who has dealt with many children and can recognize a behaviour which is out of the norm , is concerned then you should take that seriously .
I am worried about my child’s development , what should I do first ?
If you have concerns about your child’ development start by answering a simple parental questionnaire. These are screening tools which can identify children with atypical development .They include: the ages and stages questionnaire (ASQ), the parents ’ evaluation of developmental status (PEDS), and the modified check list for autism in toddlers (M-CHAT).
They provide valuable information for the initial assessment process. Speak to your paediatrician who can do a brief assessment to complement the information derived from the questionnaire and decide whether your child needs a more detailed assessment
State support for families with children with developmental difficulties
Upholding the right’s of children with developmental difficulties is a statutory requirement and the state has provision schemes and services in place in order to provide the necessary means to such families in order for them to foster their child’s development in the best possible manner. They are led by the committee for the protection of persons with intellectual disabilities , the early intervention and liaison service and the social welfare services. These government agencies offer support including funding for therapies or other aids if deemed necessary .
Children eligible for such support include :
Children with autism
Global developmental delay
Speech and communication difficulties
Developmental problems related to prematurity
The application forms can be found on the committee for the protection of persons with intellectual disabilities website ( http://www.cpmental.com.cy/en/home) and can be submitted via email . Contact number 22871333