Children and young people develop in many ways and at different rates. As your child grows older, they are also learning new skills and developing socially and emotionally.
Sometimes development can be slower than you expect (physically or emotionally), or you notice something different about your child or young person.
How Can I Support My Child's Development?
Continue to encourage their development at every opportunity. Spend time talking and listening, chat about everyday things - the colour of the sky, what you are having for dinner - encourage your child to take turns in the conversation. Communication is more than just words.
Play together, follow your child’s lead, and let their imagination run wild!
Give your child opportunities to be with other children. They can learn a lot from each other.
Think about if anything has changed or anything ‘big’ has happened either in their life or just recently. This could be having an impact on their development
If you are concerned that your child's development has stopped or that they have stopped doing things they used to, seek support to explore what might be happening for them.
Schedule of Growing Skills (SOGS)
Sometimes we will use another development tool called Schedule of Growing Skills (SOGS) to help us think about which stage your child is at and most importantly what your child can do, celebrating their success.
Remember that all children develop at their own pace, and this tool is another way of helping us to understand how your child is progressing. SOGS can be used to review development from 0-5 years old.
To complete it, a practitioner will come and assess your child using a range of activities. They will discuss the assessment with you to ensure we have all the information about your child.
If you are concerned about your child's development it is important to seek support and advice. You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you have concerns about your child's development, a member of our 0-19 team is able to complete an assessment of your child and refer to other services as needed, including: community paediatrician, speech and language therapy, hearing assessment, and vision assessment.
If your child attends school, nursery or a registered childminder, talk to them about your worries – they will be able to work with you to build your child’s skills and advise on any next steps needed.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.
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