Today sees us heading off to the Health Visitor to have X’s 24 Month development check.
We received the Ages and Stages Questionnaire through the post about a fortnight ago; it includes a number of questions regarding abilities and the option to choose Yes, Sometimes or No.
Now, I’m not a fan of standardised testing for children – as the expression goes:
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
but I do understand the need for certain developmental skills to be checked off, in terms of being able to access more support should your child need it.The areas covered in the questionnaire are:
- Communication – pointing to the right animal, imitate a two word sentence, carring out directions, naming objects, creating sentences
- Gross Motor – walking, running, kicking a ball
- Fine Motor – turning pages in books, using a spoon, twisting lids
- Problem Solving – putting things away, playing pretend with objects
- Personal-Social – copying activities, steering buggies or push toys, using a cup
plus space for general questions about hearing, speaking, diction, physicality, family history of health problems, eyesight, recent medical history and space to list any concerns about behaviour or other worries.
On the very front page is this statement:
“All children develop at different rates and in different ways. Please do not worry if our child is not doing all or any of the activities in the questionnaire. It is not a test.”
The thing is, as a parent, it’s hard NOT to see this as a test, not just of your child, but of your own skills as a parent. I know I have a wonderful little boy, who’s speech amazes me daily but isn’t too keen on climbing – there’s not a great deal of space to get across that he knows all the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep and the Alphabet, but there are a lot of boxes I can’t tick because we don’t routinely put beads on shoelaces or encourage him to climb on things in the kitchen to reach the worktop!
It’s impossible to tell how you’re doing at this parenting lark. At nearly 2 we have obviously passed the stage of celebrating when we’re both alive at the end of the day, and now I actually have to start teaching him things! And having Horrible Histories on repeat doesn’t really count (sadly).
On the upside, yesterday he decided to figure out how to put on my wooly hat in a kind of hipster cool way. Now where’s the tick box for that…