>Using Developmental Checklists

>We started our morning Play & Workshop program with a checklist of Language Development milestones by age so I’ll give a few comments about using checklists (I’ll post this list tomorrow if I can figure out how). For now I’ll just mention – the best way to use checklists is to look for progress overtime. I hesitate to even give checklists because many parents immediately fall into one of two traps:

Trap One – Looking only for weaknesses
Many parents get bogged down by items their child is low on. Child may be high on 6 of 7 measures but the parent is narrowly looking at the seventh category.
Trap Two – Comparing to every other child in the room
Many parents fill out the checklist while glancing just as often at their neighbor’s paper and can’t help but ask, especially if they find an area that’s low (see above).
The best way to use checklists is to fill it out, put it away for a few months, get it out again and fill it out like new. Then go back and check for progress. By all means if you see an area of weakness, you might make a plan of action on how to improve and then really look for progress based on your efforts. While I don’t want you stuck in weaknesses, if you made efforts and still don’t see progress it may warrant further investigation just don’t get stuck. Worry doesn’t tend to serve you well here.
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