Every child develops differently and as a parent you want to know that your child is reaching their developmental milestones. Whilst every child reaches particular milestones at their own pace, if you notice that your child is slower to develop communication, emotional, physical and social skills than other children their age, this can be a worrying time and you might want to seek advice and support. Here’s 5 places where you can get some additional support:
- GP – Trust your instincts if you think something isn’t right. Your family General Practitioner can assess whether they think your child has a development delay and refer you onto the most appropriate practitioner. This might be a Speech Therapist if there is a delay with communication skills or an Audiologist if there is are concerns about your child’s hearing. They may also help to alleviate any worries you might have by confirming your child is reaching normal developmental milestones.
- Health Direct Pregnancy Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436– this is a free phone service offering assistance from a maternal child health nurse. They also have a website where you can find information about developmental milestones from birth to 5 years old.
- Paediatrician – your GP may refer you to a paediatrician for more specialist advice about your child. A paediatrician is a specialist in conditions that affect a child’s growth and development. There may be additional costs to visiting this type of specialist.
- Early Childhood Health Centre – your local Early Childhood Health Centre has a team of Child and Family nurses available to check and discuss any concerns about your child’s development. You can also talk about your worries and, if you are feeling overwhelmed, they can support you to get support as well.
- Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Partners – The ECEI Partners are funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to support families of children aged 0-6 who may have concerns that their child has development delay. Their role is to support families build their capacity to support their child, link the family to mainstream services that provide specific support, such as speech therapy or behaviour support, or assist the family to apply for the NDIS if required. More information can be found on the NDIS website.
Of course, you can always contact Parent Line to discuss any concerns or worries you have about your child’s development. We are a free telephone counselling and support service for parents and carers with children aged 0 to 18 who live in NSW – 1300 1300 52.