The Child Development Team sees children from 0 - 5 years of age with complex developmental difficulties.
Our team consists of a range of professionals including Paediatricians, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Dietician, Specialist Health Visitor, Clinical Psychologists, Child Psychotherapists, Therapy Assistant, and Keyworkers.
There are two stages to working with the Child Development Team. The assessment process which normally takes around six weeks followed by the intervention phase.
The assessment process
The assessment process usually involves several appointments with different professionals either one-to-one or with two professionals together. After the assessment is finished the team meet with the family to give feedback about the assessment results and will confirm a diagnosis if appropriate.
Following the assessment feedback meeting, one or two members of the team will visit the parents at home to discuss how they are feeling about everything that has happened. Staff will use a coaching style to help with this process and discuss ways to move forward and plan the next steps.
The intervention phase
Following the assessment, a parent programme is offered to all families. The Child Development Team offers two different parent programmes:
1. EarlyBird - for children with a diagnosis of Autism
2. My C.H.I.L.D. - for children with other developmental concerns
This 12 week programme was developed by the National Autistic Society and works in partnership with parents to help them to help their child. It enables parents and carers to have a better understanding of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder, to develop their child's ability to communicate and to find practical ways to manage their child's behaviour.
My C.H.I.L.D. (Communication, Health, Independence, Learning and Development) programme
The programme covers a wide variety of topics outlining how to help a child in dfferent areas of development. These include: health and nutrition, attention, play, communication, behaviour, motor skills, welfare, benefits and community resources, support in school and nursery, self-care and sensory processing.
Following the parent programme, the Child Development Team will continue to work with parents to facilitate carrying out advice, review therapy programmes and support integration of programmes at home and in the nursery. There are occasions when specific individual interventions will be required, for example, if a child needs special equipment or advice about safety for eating and drinking.
The Child Development Team works closely with the child's educational setting and supports parents in finding a suitable nursery. Support and advice is provided to nursery staff and how best to incorporate therapy programmes into the child's daily life. As the child grows, the team work with parents to prepare for transition to reception and school health services.