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?
Flashing up loads of issues to me, that need dealing with quickly. If parents aren't willing to be involved there is still a level of interaction you can provide. Introduction of visual timetables, allowing extra time for processing, supporting every vocal command with visual clues, opportunities for fine and gross motor skill development, quiet areas for speaking and listening tasks. You could do all these and not actually single out the child.