"How do you know when a child needs early intervention? We give you a developmental checklist"
What is the Community Action Program for Children?
Nipissing CAPC is a support program for teen mothers under the age of 21 years and their children under 6 years. CAPC offers home visits, parenting groups, and pre and post-natal support. The three CAPC workers have different backgrounds in social work, health and education. The goal of the home visiting program with these teens is to promote healthy pregnancies, explore parenting skills, encourage further education and provide information about nutrition, child health and development. Through partnerships with community agencies we also work together to offer parenting groups, cooking sessions, budgeting and other topics as needed to further our goals.
How do they use the ndds and what do they think about it?
The CAPC worker uses the ndds with a parent at a home visit. This way they see the child in their normal environment and parent and child are usually comfortable and relaxed. The worker will often support a young family for 18 months to two years. During this time, depending on the age of the child(ren) they may do 4-6 checklist with the parent. There are 13 checklist in all from 1-2 months to 6 years.
The workers find the ndds easy to use with its' simple questions and YES/NO format. Their teen parents do not find it intimidating and will often ask -"when do we do the next checklist?" It is a great way to start a discussion about child development during a visit – "is my child on track?" – and to give ideas of ways to play with their child as you are going through the checklist. This often leads into talking about what kinds of toys to buy for the child and possibly which ones to avoid. The attached activities are a great teaching tool for playing and reading with your child as well as addressing some safety concerns and they can be left with the parent for future reference.
Do they make referrals after completing the ndds and there are "NO" answers?
Their first avenue is to check again with the parent to see if it is a lack of opportunity and to give them a few weeks to work on the developmental area (s) and to return and check again. If the answer is still a "NO" then a referral will be made to the appropriate agency in the City. It is fortunate as most of the agencies that referrals are made to in North Bay, Ontario also use the ndds so they are all working from the same baseline. Many children have been helped at an earlier age due to the use of the ndds and this can only be a good thing for all involved. Early identification leads to early intervention and leads to better outcomes for the child.
Would they recommend the ndds to other programs?
They would recommend the ndds be used by any agency dealing with babies and young children especially those who are high risk. They find the Nipissing is well received by their teen population who do not find it intimidating and difficult to answer and it is a tool that can be used in the comfort of their own home. The yes/no format is simple to use but gives a good indication in lots of areas – vision, hearing, speech, language, communication, fine and gross motor, self-help, and social/emotional – as to how well the child is doing. If there is a problem then a more formal assessment can be done BUT with the ndds more children can be screened.
t: (705) 472-9211 or 1-888-582-0944
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