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Neurodevelopmental Assessment (0-5 Years) - What Should You Know?

Written and reviewed by
Fellowship in Special Education, Fellowship in Epilepsy & Paroxysmal Disorder, MD - Pediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Bhubaneswar  •  27years experience
Neurodevelopmental Assessment (0-5 Years)  - What Should You Know?

Neurodevelopmental disorders refer to any impairment and disorder of the brain and nervous system growth and development. Disorder in the brain and nervous system can affect the emotional, physiological, psychological ability and overall timely development of a child. With advanced technology and continuous study in the medical field, one can now assess the neurodevelopment of his/her children. Neurodevelopmental Assessment concentrates on the overall growth and development of a child including his/her weaknesses and strengths. A complete developmental profile is generated with the help of various tests and examinations. This assessment is used to analyse the various developmental factors including social and communication skills, functional and motor skills, cognition and learning abilities, and language and speech development. Neurodevelopmental Assessment involves a team of child’s close people including parents, guardians, and family members who help to understand the medical history if any. It helps doctors to provide appropriate ways to assist the child in his/ her growth and development.

Tests and Examinations

Tests for the Neurodevelopmental Assessment may vary from child to child depending upon their condition. But, there are usually some tests that are done to understand the overall development of the child. These tests may include speech tests, hearing tests, blood tests, physical examinations, and questionnaires, which may be given before or during the assessment process.

Assessment

The assessment processes and sessions may vary depending upon the need of the child. However, usually, there are three major sessions that help the pediatrician understand the concerns of the family and parents. These sessions include consulting about the detailed medical history of the child, understanding the problem and its possible cause, and providing proper ways and treatment options for the patient. 

In the first session, parents and guardians are asked about any medical concern they have and the medical examination of the child is carried out accordingly. A standardized assessment with the child will be carried out by a clinical psychologist and the parents and guardians are asked to complete a questionnaire for the assessment. Depending upon the age, questionnaire may be sent to school for teacher/s to complete.

The next session is usually led by language and speech therapist to discuss and understand the current language and speech concerns of the child. Previous assessments and medical examinations are taken into account to carry out further assessments. An occupational therapist will assess the child’s ability to perform self-care activities and other tasks according to his/her age. The session may include the assessment of a child’s motor skills and abilities and reflection on any probable sensory-based problems that may be affecting the child’s occupational performance.

The last session mainly includes the discussion with the parents and guardians to help them understand the problem, its causes, and treatment options. If the child requires any further assessment or/and recommendations, then the parents are told about that too.

Takeaway

Neurodevelopmental Assessment of children is often performed on kids who do not show the developmental signs according to their age. Parents and guardians should not hesitate to consult their children to clinical psychologist and therapist as the early intervention and assessment can help in the timely growth and development of the children.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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