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Development delay?

(6 Posts)
CleverQuacks Sun 01-Jan-17 20:04:45

Hi all
My son is 20 months old. He was born at 36 weeks and following his birth (c section) he didn't breath so had to be assisted. It took them nearly 20 minutes to get him breathing on his own and then he had to go to special care with oxygen for two days. He was allowed home at 5 days old.

For the first 2 months of his life he literally did nothing but sleep. I had to wake him every three hours for feeds because he wouldn't wake up and cry but he was losing weight and very jaundice so needed regular feeds.

By 4 months my health visitor was concerned because he wasn't smiling or fixing and following things. He was referred for eye tests but that all came back clear. He finally smiled at 5 months.

He sat up at 10 months and has just started taking wobbly steps when you hold his hands. He also has no words yet and doesn't really babble.

I am very worried that he seems significantly behind but other than referring for eye tests the health visitor has done nothing.

So as not to drip feed I should say that I had postnatal depression following his birth and spent 3 months in a mother and baby unit with him. I tried to care for him as best I could at this time but obviously it's not a great start for him. I feel the health visitor thinks this is why he is so behind.

What can I do to get my concerns taken seriously?! Or should I just wait and see until he is older, maybe he will catch up?

Heirhelp Sun 01-Jan-17 20:39:48

There is a book called birth to 5 which gives you an outline of what to expect by age.

Can you ask the HV to come to your house to discuss his development and ask when it would be appropriate for intervention? All children develop at different rates.

Katkin14 Sun 01-Jan-17 22:11:34

You poor thing. A difficukt birth can be so traumatic. HVs aren't all fantastic in my experience. If you feel like this one isn't taking your concerns seriously, can you see a different one? Or try your GP?

Miloarmadillo1 Tue 03-Jan-17 19:51:15

Don't wait and see. The NHS are ridiculously slow at this sort of thing, as a concerned parent you need to be very proactive to get anywhere. My DD has a type of epilepsy that causes brain damage and development delay. In the USA it automatically enrols a child from diagnosis day 1 in early intervention (speech, physio, occupational therapy). Here because I insisted I got a referral for 5 months later to Community paediatrics who did a 'baseline assessment' and proposed to do nothing for another 6 months even though she failed in every area.
Either go back to HV or see your GP and ask to be referred to the Community paeds department. Ask them to do the appropriate ASQ development assessment, if he is behind then you should be referred on. In the meantime, see if your local children's centre has a group for children with delays or additional needs, you may need to be referred but HV can do it, no official diagnosis needed. HV can also refer to Portage (play therapy). Children's centre sometimes have a drop in speech and language session so you can get some input from a SALT. They tend not to worry until 2, but you can get onto their radar. All of these things tend to have waiting lists, get yourself on to them now. If he suddenly takes off with development then great, you can say no thanks when a place is offered.
My daughter has done really well with a cobbled together approach, consisting of monthly Portage playgroup, weekly additional needs group, few private physio sessions, speech advice from a SALT in the family and a program from but it has all required a lot of effort on my part. If I had been content to leave it to the NHS nothing would have happened.

Miloarmadillo1 Tue 03-Jan-17 19:53:19

ASQ questionnaire for 20 months

Lovemylittlebear Tue 03-Jan-17 20:01:47

Hi clever, I would go to your GP and ask for a referral as it does sound like there is a delay in development. Sometimes the system is very slow to get anything moving and parents have to really push. Early intervention is the best way to work on teaching developmental skills like communication, play and joint attention. Your time in the mother and baby unit will not have anything to do with a developmental delay if there is one. Don't give yourself a hard time. lots of women suffer from PND.

Have a look at a book called the Verbal behaviour approach by Mary barbera it is a nice read for early intervention. You could also google Early Start Denver Model and Verbal Behaviour Approach if you were interested. It's not typically available on the NHS but charity's like Caudwell children fund up to £2000 per year. All the best x

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