While babies may not speak their first word for a year, they are born ready to communicate with a rich vocabulary of body movements, cries and visual responses: all part of the complex language of infant behaviour. The Scale looks at a wide range of behaviours and is suitable for examining newborns and infants up to two months old. By the end of the assessment, we will have a behavioural “portrait” of the infant, describing the baby’s strengths, adaptive responses and possible vulnerabilities. The doctor shares this portrait with parents to develop appropriate caregiving strategies aimed at enhancing the earliest relationship between babies and parents.
Prechtl’s Method provides a quick, non-invasive and cost-effective means of making early assessments of infants to identify any neurological deviations which may lead to cerebral palsy and other developmental deficits later on. The method has high reliability and validity. There is a pressing need for a reliable way of recognising those infants who require treatment. Equally important is the need to provide parents with a realistic prediction of their child’s development.
This assessment method has shown its merit for the prenatal and postnatal evaluation of the integrity of the nervous system. Compelling evidence is now available that qualitative assessment of General Movements (GMs) at a very early age is the best predictor of cerebral palsy. This method has become a potent supplement to the traditional kind of neurological examination.
Griffiths III provides an overall measure of a child’s development, as well as an individual profile of strengths and needs across five areas: Foundations of learning – assess critical aspects of learning during the early childhood years. Language and communication – measures overall language development, including expressive language, receptive language, and (to a lesser extent) use of language to communicate socially with others. Eye and hand coordination – considers fine motor skills, manual dexterity and visual perception skills. Personal-social-emotional – measures constructs relating to the child’s developing sense of self and growing independence, interactions with others, plus many aspects of emotional development. Gross motor – assesses postural control, balance and gross body coordination, among other abilities. Its strength is that it is a reliable tool that has, and continues to, yield efficacious results with special populations from birth to 5 years, 11 months of age and informs interventions in the form of Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).
This tool is used for children 12months through adulthood to accurately assess and diagnose autism spectrum disorders across age, developmental level, and language skills. With improved algorithms, the ADOS-2 demonstrates strong predictive validity. It provides a highly accurate picture of current ASD-related symptoms, based on real-time observations.
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