Learn the signs. Act early. For parents.
Narrator: From birth to five years old, most children should reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act and move. For example, at eight weeks of age your baby may pay attention to faces, turn his head to noises and smile at you. By six months, your baby may roll over in both directions and try to get things out of reach. By 12 months, your child may pull up to stand. By two years, your child may follow simple instructions, copy others and get excited around other children. These are just a few examples of developmental milestones.
You can find the milestone checklist and more in the My Personal Health Record Book, called the Blue Book. You were given this when your baby was born. This book also has your regular checks for your child and family health nurse or general practitioner to complete. The milestone checklists are listed under My development, - Learn the Signs. Act Early. for each age group. Monitoring milestones is an important way to detect any developmental delays.
Beth (Parent): Being a parent, you don't really know what you're doing.
Col (Grandparent): Everyone says when they have kids, they wish they come with an instruction manual. The Blue Book is the instruction manual. It is your guide. It is your blue print for the child's future.
Melissa (Parent): The Blue Book has been useful. I find it's almost a little bit of a bible. I can sort of refer back to it and it gives me the confidence to say I'm doing a good job. With the milestones, is she jumping at three years old? And I go ok, what are some activities? I can play hopscotch with her.
Narrator: Another tool for parents is the Love, talk, sing, read, play app that tracks their child's development. This app has ideas and activities every parent can use to help their child develop skills. Because children have sensitive periods for development, early intervention is key to getting the best outcomes for the child.
Col (Grandparent): Initially we looked in the Blue Book and thought we seen that some of his milestones were delayed, so we kept pushing forward and advocating for him. Then eventually our pediatrician referred us to speech pathology, so he's been doing that, then we noticed his balance and everything was still off, so that's when occupational therapy came in, so we've been attending that as well. Without that communication, we have problems where he was just getting aggressive and frustrated, and we were getting frustrated because we felt so helpless that we didn't know what he was trying to tell us.
Narrator: You know your child best and if you think your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, share your concerns.
Deb Heenan (Child and family health nurse): And if we do find that there is a concern about the child's development, we then go through our pathways of screening. We will then talk to the parents about the ages and stages questionnaire if we feel that that's appropriate at that stage.
Narrator: Take your child to a child and family health nurse or general practitioner for all the regular health and development checks listed in your child's Blue Book.
Esna (Parent): Yes I am definitely using the Blue Book, because it's like an insight towards my child's health and development. I make sure everything is fine and on track and I don't want to regret it later.
Gina (Grandparent): And if you feel something's not right, just keep going along with it and try and find out what is wrong and a lot of times your child can't talk and you know it's not right.
Col (Grandparent): What do they say? Prevention is 99 percent of the cure. So he's three now, pretty soon he'll be five, starting school, so by doing it now we're able to introduce it early and hopefully you know, it gives him a fighting chance to catch up and be on par with kids his age.
Beth (Parent):The sooner you jump on it, the sooner you can fix the problem.
Col (Grandparent): It's your child's future. They've got to be given the best chance in life.
Narrator: If you are concerned, don't wait. Make an appointment with the child and family health nurse or general practitioner to seek help. Acting early can make a real difference.
For more information: Learn the Signs. Act Early.
My Personal Health Record Book and
Love, talk, sing, read, play (translations available).