Telling parents about developmental concern

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by teacherR, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Dec 9, 2009

    I have a child in my 4 year old class who is, I think, very behind developmentally. He barley can hold a crayon to color. His speech is only understandable about 60% of the time. He has trouble with very basic commands. For instance, this morning, I asked him to put his art in his cubby. He stared at me for a moment and did not react. I then repeated the instructions and the second time he got up went to his cubby but came back to me 30 seconds later with his art still in his hand. He is the only child who cannot draw basic shapes or spell his name. I know that all kids are different but something is not right. During gross motor time it as if he is not in control of his own body. He cannot jump and just learned to run with a smooth consistent motion.


    I want to inform his parents but do not want offend them. His father is the stay at home and is very over protective. At first I thought that was causing the delay, I now see it is something more. How do I let them know without hurting them? I know that when he goes to kindergarten round up the teacher will say something to them and they may wonder why after two years I did not say it first. Especially when we have such a good repour.
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Dec 9, 2009

    Document everything. When you have a few weeks worth of documentation, then you can establish a pattern and show that it's consistent throughout his day and across the weeks. That way they can't write it off as him having a bad day.

    Then, when you talk to the parents, make sure you keep it very objective. I would talk to your director and get him/her involved in this as well.

    I try not to look at it as offending the parents. Think of it as being an advocate for that child. If you don't say something, that child may not get the help he needs when he needs it, and it sounds as if you think he needs it now. The sooner he can get the help he needs, the earlier he'll start to close the gap in skill level with the other children.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 9, 2009

    I agree: document as much as you can, and be as analytical as you can. Stick totally to the facts.

    When you have a hefty stack, call the parents in for a conference. Let them know that you're very concerned, that you think the child's pediatrician needs to be aware of the patterns you're seeing.

    Don't diagnose, don't speculate. Steer them towards a doctor.
     
  5. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Dec 9, 2009

    Does your state have Standards or Guidlines? If so, use them to show the parent what the state expects a child to do at 4.

    Provide the parent with a list of language milestones and gross motor milestones for a 4-year old. The parent can see what Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists exect a child to do at 4.

    Give the child a one step task, a two step task, a three step task and document what happens.

    I agree with the other posters- be objective and discuss behaviors. Offer the parent activities the child can do to build fine motor skills. Check with your Director for outside resources to give to the parents for evaluation; OTs, STs.
     
  6. MaestraLoca

    MaestraLoca New Member

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    Dec 9, 2009

    It is always difficult to tell parents that their child may be experiencing a delay. Do you use a curriculum assessment? I teach preschool special education. The typical and special education preschools complete the Creative Curriculum assessment in the beginning and end of the school year. Maybe showing the parents that info might help. I know that our state early childhood standards say that they are not to be used as an assessment, but as a brief screening tool they might be helpful.

    Goodluck
     
  7. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Dec 10, 2009

    I probably should have mentioned I am the director. No one to tell but myself :). I work for a small church preschool so we do not have a curriculum assessment, although I do use the Creative Curriculum and the State standards to monitor the children's development.

    I think that I will advise my teachers to document what they are seeing and then schedule a meeting with his parents and let them know what we are experiencing objectively. Hopefully we will be able to encourage them to speak with his pediatrician.
     
  8. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Dec 10, 2009

    What else do you assess? I assess my 3, 4, & 5 year olds on:
    counting objects, 6 shapes, 6 colors, patterns, seriating 3 objects, cutting on a line, stringing beads, walking up steps alternating feet, hopping, skipping, writing name, following a 2 or 3 step direction, how many letters and letter sounds they know,
    plus all kinds of language and social -emotional skills, to list just a few things. Most of my kids know their shapes, colors, can pattern, seriate, cut on a line, write their name (although not perfectly), and half my class knows the alphabet and letter sounds already. If you can assess him on some of these measurable, objective things, you could present them to a parent as "These are some of the things a child of his age might be able to do" If there are alot of that he cannot do, you can expresss your concerns to the parents, with documentation.
     
  9. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Dec 10, 2009

    Have you considered regular conferences for all children in the Pre-K? That might make things easier. I do mine just before Thanksgiving. My conference form has three headings: Your Child's Strengths, Developmentally, Your Child is Working On, and Things we can both work on at school and home.

    I use my state Standards for 4 year olds as a guide, list my areas of concern under the second heading and make suggestions under the third heading.

    If you have access to outside resources, you can have them come in for assessments. Yesterday a Speech Therapist came in and assessed the children for speech, language and audiology. The cost is added to our enrollment fee. It's great to have a professional screen the children and intervene early if necessary.
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 11, 2009

    I have referred many PS for evaluations. I explain to the parents that I notice the child is behind a bit in---, and that they state has an agency to test children. The wonderful thing about this service is that it is free. I keep the meeting upbeat, and keep telling them how lucky they are that they can get this free service. Then, if there is a delay, you are the hero, and the agency can deliver the news.
     
  11. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Dec 11, 2009

    In my state even private daycares can refer children on to further assessment or intervention through our local edcuation agency.

    I would first start with the parents talking about the different concerns. Have documentation ready to explain to them. More than likely they know of the concern but don't realize that it is a bigger concern than they were thinking.

    I had a situation like this year, a 4-year old who has issues with speech and some cognitive delays. With intervention and exposure he made gains in the cognitive area. He is going on an IEP for speech only but we are suggesting another year of preschool or Transitional kindergarten.
     
  12. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Dec 11, 2009

    Mrs. Barrett- I agree with you 100%. Most parents see the delays in their own children and are equally concerned. Still, it is difficult for them to hear intervention is recommended because they are hoping their child will just "catch up" on their own. These types of meetings are the worse part of my job. :(
     

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