Development Issues

Pre-School Identification of Development Issues

24 November 2022
Posted by: Chelsea

Development Issues: Sometimes, though it is comparatively unusual, a child’s pre-school activities may indicate that there is a need for some extra help in their intellectual and academic development. This is also often picked up in the first year or two of formal schooling.

That early identification is exceptionally important in providing help at the earliest stages and therefore to the maximum benefit.

What are early development issues?

Most babies and toddlers in Australia will be fortunate enough to have access to routine health and development checks in the 24 months or so after birth. These checks are essential if some early physical and cognitive developmental issues are to be diagnosed and treated. While most physical conditions will be picked up this way, some cognitive issues may only become visible through pre-school identification of such.

In most cases, there are excellent therapies and treatments available that can alleviate the problem before the early school years or shortly afterwards.

Symptoms

Expert care providers may notice symptoms including children who:

  • seem unwilling to play with others or engage with them. That might also include adults in the childcare centre too;
  • are unable to focus on what is being said in class, in the sense that they appear entirely uninterested and reluctant (or refuse) to take part;
  • appear to be struggling to make progress in early pre-reading, storytelling and craft-type exercises, such as painting;
  • demonstrate regular severe temper tantrums that even with care provider help, they are unable to control;
  • are pre-disposed towards violent acts towards other children;
  • suffer excessive separation anxiety and ongoing grief when left by their parents;
  • become distraught if they “get something wrong” or are unable to complete an activity;
  • are unusually clumsy and struggle to control their bodily movements.

Keeping calm

Experienced childcare providers and primary teachers will know very well that not all children develop at the same pace. Each is an individual and needs to be seen as such.

Minor problems and speed of development issues are perfectly normal. In the vast majority of cases, the symptoms listed above manifest themselves for short periods and then disappear naturally over time. Parental concern should such issues arise is understandable but they are rarely cause for concern.

Where problems do become apparent

However, in some cases, some of the development issues symptoms listed above may, if severe enough or seemingly not improving, indicate that a child would benefit from a specialist assessment.

Where that is the case, the childcare centre or school will usually advise the parents of their concerns and recommend an appropriate review. The diagnostic result of that might, for example, result in additional external teaching or remedial activities to build confidence, improve hand-eye coordination, enhance anger management techniques and so on.

These sorts of activities are often extremely effective in allowing pre-schoolers and early primary school children to quickly overcome something that might be holding them back and then to progress onwards through a perfectly routine schooling life.

If you have any concerns about aspects of your child’s schooling development, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your pre-schooling provider or the teachers in your primary school.

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