Health Visitor stirring up trouble(6 Posts)
My then 18yr old adopted dd had a baby last summer. She lives at home with me and little one. I am a primary school teacher (to set the scene). Little one has social care involvement and is a 'child in need' due to dd not coping with him while I'm at work - he now goes to a childminder while Im at work. Little one has always been a most delightful and laid back baby. (I know - doting granny,) I have also spent a huge amount of time with him singing, reading, playing and talking, partly as he's so gorgeous, partly to model what to do to my daughter and partly because I'm well aware of the need to stimulate his development in this way. As a consequence he's meeting his milestones spot on and doing pretty well with his language development - making a whole variety babbling sounds, understanding lots of words, shaking his head to mean yes and no and in the last couple of weeks begun to make animal sounds (well a roaring sound for a lion anyway!)in response to pictures or the right soft toys. Both I and his childminder are in agreement that he is doing well. He is 8.5 months.
Last week we had a 'Child in Need' review meeting. Before the meeting the HV observed him looking around our lounge at the pictures on the wall (which he's always been fascinated by) and babbling at them. During the meeting the SW asked for feedback from the HV. The HV visitor said she was concerned that he babbled at objects rather than people (on that occasion he did but generally he does not). The SW asked if this indicated attachment issues and the HV said no it indicates a lack of stimulation. Well as you can imagine I was fuming. Is the HV talking utter bollocks in order to make out we are neglecting one or is she right, babbling at objects signifies a lack of stimulation?
She is talking utter bollocks
www.babycentre.co.uk/a6477/milestone-chart-seven-to-12-months This chart is quite useful.
How awful! No wonder you are fuming, how can she make that sort of judgement in a couple of minutes? Not only a slight on you but also a slight on the child minder who is Ofsted inspected and will definitely be stimulating his development whilst he is with her, just as you are doing. Has the SW made any further comment on it or did she say anything at the time?
Quite Kariana. I've always been sceptical of parents who claim not to have a fair experience with Social Services but this left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I did write a very forthright email to both of them and asked HV to provide me with a link to research saying that babbling to objects signified lack of stimulation but HV hasn't responded. I had a good conversation with the SW whom I quite like and who hadn't taken the comment as being significant. I'm just more and more seething as the only possible explanation I can think of for the HV to say it is to try and initiate a child protection plan which makes me very cross as little one is completely safe and dd is doing much better with him recently. The childminder has a throughly deserved ofsted outstanding rating. She is a very experienced childminder and for much of the week only has little one so he is really getting a great experience.
Very frustrating but I'm pleased to hear the SW had enough sense not to place any emphasis on it. I don't know what age primary you teach but I used to teach the lower end and young children talk incessantly to themselves or to objects when playing - it's totally normal at that age so I don't see why a baby practising babbling whilst gazing at the world around him should be any different.
Luckily (for your family at least) social services are so over stretched that I doubt they'll even consider a protection plan on such ridiculous 'evidence'.
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