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Does this child's development sound within normal ranges to you?

(4 Posts)
duchesse Fri 05-Oct-12 11:16:40

Posting here are well as in Pre-school education:

My friend is the TA in a nursery (not in the UK). She and the class teacher are extremely worried about one of their pupils but can't seem to get the parents interested in their concerns about the child. The head did mention their worries to the parents last year, they parents took the child off to a neurologist who pronounced it to be within the normal range of development. However, it is obvious to my friend and the class teacher that this child is not developing at the same rate as the other children, and is actually falling quite far behind, but they are very frustrated because there is nothing they can do in this country to intervene without the parents' consent. Meanwhile, potential intervention time is being lost and the teacher and TA are tearing their hair out.

The child is rising 4, and these are the problems:

Motor skills: She still stumps when she walks (like a child that has recently learned to walk). She cannot pedal a trike. She very rarely uses her thumbs to pick things up, picking things like pencils up with her fingers and palm instead. She drops things a lot.

Tongue control: my friend has observed that the child does not chew food- she simply rolls it around inside her mouth with her tongue and then swallows it whole.

Speech: her speech is quite poor. Hearing problems are suspected.

Ability to follow commands: she often doesn't appear to understand when she is asked to do something. This might be due the possible hearing problems (which are also not being addressed by the parents), but might also be due to the fact that she may not understand what she is being asked.

Mouthing: she still mouths things. An object picked up is often put straight to her mouth where she "feels" it with her tongue.

My friend feels that this child desperately needs intervention but obviously is not able to force the issue. There appears to be no means to intervene in situations like these here (France) where the parents don't agree to any intervention.

If there are any nursery teachers/ paediatricians/ knowledgeable persons out there, what do you think of what you have just read?

DeWe Fri 05-Oct-12 11:27:15

Sounds slow to me, but I wouldn't know if it's in normal bands.

But I will just say on the mouthing. Is it using her mouth because she struggles with her hands? Dd2 sometimes uses her mouth to hold/turn things round because she's only got one hand, and her mouth can hold things stiller than tucking it under her other arm.

However the whole description sounds like an older child I know. I think his "brain didn't develop properly in the womb", but I'm not sure if that's a diagnosis or what his parents say to briefly describe it. He's 6yo though, and it definitely isn't normal at 6yo, not sure if it would be "slow but normal" in a rising 4.

Nottigermum Fri 05-Oct-12 12:29:38

It could be a hundred things. Dyspraxia would fit many aspects of what you are describing, very mild cerebral palsy, some autistic children will feel with their mouth. Some children with dyspraxia also have a language processing problem. But if parents are not pro active about it there's nothing anyone can do. If they have seen a neurologist already that would eliminate cerebral palsy I think. Read this and see if would be a starting point - however, I am no expert. My son was tested for dyspraxia so I have read about it, that's all. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_dyspraxia

duchesse Fri 05-Oct-12 13:24:50

Dewe- I don't think so, it's more like a reflex. She is actually feeling it with her tongue. I had been thinking mild cerebral palsy as well, but would be surprised if it hadn't been spotted by the neurologist.

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