One of my favorite activities with clients is to help them figure out what questions they want or need to ask their care providers about various procedures. Sometimes clients come to me and ask "what should I do?" and so we will walk through one of my favourite acronyms (B.R.A.I.N) to help them get the information they need to make a decision. It's quite a simple tool, easy to remember and easy to keep a copy of as a reminder when you head to the hospital. I've even attached a link to a printable copy for you!
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Babies do a lot of growing and developing in the first year (and beyond) and during your well baby visits, and vaccination visits etc the nurses and doctors will ask you lots of questions about your baby's development. You will probably also fill out ASQs which are Ages and Stages Questionnaires. Most of the time these go smoothly and there are no issues. But what happens when your baby isn't meeting their milestones?
If you have concerns about development you should always talk to your child's care provider. They may refer you to Children's Allied Health for further assessments.
If you have talked to your child's care provider and you feel you are getting nowhere, you can self refer your infant/toddler to Children's Allied Health for assessments with the Physio Therapist, Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist.
Once you have completed the assessments the therapists will decide if there is an ongoing issue, they may give you some things to work on at home with your baby, or they may schedule more therapy sessions and it could be an ongoing process. They will also send their assessments to your child's care provider.
Once you have those assessments you should follow up with your child's care provider again, and discuss your next steps. They may refer your child to a pediatrician for further looking into your concerns.
If your child is diagnosed with a disability there is other steps you can take like contact FSCD (Family Supports for Children with Disabilities) where you can get government funding for respite care, private therapy etc. You should also apply for the Children's Disability Tax Credits through the Canada Revenue Agency.
It's important to remember that early intervention plays a key role in the successes of a child who isn't meeting their milestones. Even just a list of things to do at home with your child can be a world of difference in their development.
It is also important to remember that just like pregnancy, you have choices, options and supports available to you and your family.
To Self Refer to Children's Allied Health Lethbridge- (403) 388 6575
To contact FSCD if your child has a diagnosis- (403) 381 5777
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