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  1. #1

    Question Development delays

    I am having a hard time reaching out to one of my childcare children. The child is 3 years old and is displaying major signs of developmental delays, including not being able to communicate verbally or with motions, being a late talker it is hard to understand anything the child tries to do. The child does not eat, except for 4-8 bites of starches everyday and drinks a bottle twice a day. The child is often dehydrated and for the last week has went 8-11 hours with zero pees or poops. The child does not follow any simple direction, like pick up your jacket, or put on your pants. A crying fit proceeds any direction, especially when it is meal time, then the tears really start flowing. There are other social and emotional issues that are concerning, but my main question is, how do you bring up these concerns to parents who do not seem to understand how their child acts? How do you as a provider spend the extra time with one child who needs more attention then you can give? Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
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    For me, from interview I make it clear that my purpose is to work with them to ensure their child's success. I build that relationship of open communication from the moment they step foot in my home.

    How long has this child been in your care? Is it a child who has been with you from an infant or is it a new arrival?

    I would sit down with the parents however, at a surface level, it seems much of this this child is developmentally behind what you'd expect for the age and it could be not so much an issue of ability but of parenting. What I mean by this is that it's not necessarily that the child is behind due to ability but it could be due to over-adulting.

    I'd be interested to know a bit more about the family dynamics. Does the child walk from the car to the day care or are they carried? Do parents automatically undress/dress their child with outside wear vs encouraging them to take their shoes off? Does the child eat more if you spoon fed them vs being expected to put their food into their mouths themselves? How many bottles are being provided between home and daycare during the day?

    I think first before a conversation which is going to have to happen. you have to try and figure out if it's the family holding the child back by babying and having no expectations or is it a situation of despite encouragement and opportunity, the child cannot reach these targets.

  3. #3
    Thank you for your response. I have known the child since birth, however I have started childcare less than three months ago. Mom was an acquaintance and I didn't know them very well prior to accepting the child into my care.

    From what I see on a day to day basis, the child has EVERYTHING done for them. We have started working on putting on a coat and pants, but when they keep the child at home for 3-6 days, we then have to start from scratch again over and over. The child can do things, I'm not sure how much but can with a lot of help.

    Bottles are no longer given here, because there is no interest. I cannot speak to how many bottles are given at home, but I expect it is enough to fill the child up and therefore the reason the child does not eat solid food. If there is any vegetable or fruit on the childs plate, the tears start at every meal time.

    I know parents never want to hear they are holding their child back from growth and as a care provider I'd like to have suggestions for them to help encourage growth. The childs behaviour has now started affecting my family life because I have the child for long periods of time at night or weekends. There is many other circumstances I can't even type them all, including no structure for the child and the child may sleep at 12-1am until 8-9am and then nap for 5 hours a day. Not to mention inappropriate clothing for the weather, which I have addressed many times.

    How can I not feel guilty if I need to let the child go?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JARS View Post
    How can I not feel guilty if I need to let the child go?
    Because you have to make decision based on your business not just on being a carer. As carers, we care. We try to fix every situation and make it better for the child. However, we can't fix parents who aren't open to learning.

    I suspected the issues were from over doing at home. I've experienced that myself. Sometimes, parents just don't know and other times, they do it intentionally because it's their last baby.

    I think you have to sit down with these parents for an open and frank discussion and if things don't improve, for your own sanity you will have to let them go otherwise you are going to struggle for any support potentially until this child leaves for school.

    You might have to explain that as adults, we have a responsibility to encourage a child to push their boundaries and the tantrums are purely the child's way of expressing their frustration at having expectations put on them. These parents might not like the idea of their child being expected to develop some independence however, they have a responsibility to install the self confidence to try new things, to not manipulate people by poor behavior (tantrums).

    In not allowing this child to develop these basic skills they are starving his/her self confidence. This child will never try something new if they haven't been allowed to learn in a safe environment where each time they fail, they are encouraged to keep going. If this continues, this child won't be able to function in school, and later in the adult world. This fear of doing for themselves will leave this child highly dependent and frightened of taking a chance. It's abusive.

  5. #5
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    Hi, I could probably give a really long analitical answer from different points of view but due to my limited time I would suggest you to try to do this,

    Take or print a list of developmental mile stones for that age, follow the child and check ( make short notes, etc )

    When your done, just give a copy to the parents and tell them to ask to their pediatrician (if all those signs are normal or not in child developent), that way you did your job, and another professional will give or support also your opinion. You did what you could and now it is up to them.

  6. #6
    Thank you for your response. You don't find that would be overstepping as a care provider? I like the idea and I've actually considered it but I'm not sure how other parents would view it.

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    No, I personally wouldn't consider overstepping. I do it all the time. Think about this, when parents go to see or do the regular doctor check up, the doctor haven't spend a lot of time with the child to determine (physically everything could seem ok), usually doctors rely on the parents information to check deeper or look for signs. And parents also rely in the carer information (especially first time parents) carers spend a big deal of time with children.

    From my view, as a carer you spend hours with the child (giving you more time to observe) and also you have experience.

    I do this observations for every child and parents know it. When they go to the doctor I just give them a copy and the pediatricians keep that in their records (ex. First words, physical abilities etc) if there is any concern or sign I just tell the parents what I see during my hours of care but with my list they can also ask their doctor. It is surprising sometimes even parents do know things what their child can do, it obviously is because children spend a lot time with us but also their behaviour is different at home and at childcare.

    Also, do not use any labels such as "delays" etc. (No parent wants to hear that). Just nicely give then the check up list (it is available for everyone and actually it helps the doctors); and tell them to ask to the doctor. That's it.

    Now it is up to them to follow up or not. But you did your work and "kindly and sensitively" you have shared your concerns. All in the best interest of the child.

  8. #8
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    I always do developmental checklists for all children. An an ECE it is my job to let parents know where their child stands developmentally.
    If they have not met specific milestones, I will have a discussion with the parents, and give them a copy of my results on the checklist. Then I will make suggestions for community referrals, if necessary.

    The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is one of the more detailed ones that I like to use.
    At the very least, this child needs a speech referral, as it sounds like expressive and receptive language is delayed. I'm surprised the family doctor wouldn't have picked this up at an annual checkup. A child should have basic guestures by 15 months, and most will do so prior to that. The expressive language should have been flagged at either the 18 month or 2 year checkup, as well as the ability to follow basic directions(receptive )

  9. #9
    Thank you for your reply. I think I will do a checklist and recommend they see their doctor.
    I've done a few for the child and they are fairly consistent, the child may need early intervention. The doctor wouldn't pick up on these issues because both parents are in huge denial and refuse to tell the doctor anything except that their child has no concerns. I have three children of my own and strangers often comment on this child and it is breaking my heart stressing about this child because the parents do not seem concerned. I will bring up the milestones eventually and ask them to get the child assessed. Thank you.

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