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This is a platform designed to share the relevant and empowering information on Inspired Parenting gathered since

the creation of the Practica Program in 1993. Please join us to learn and grow together!

*We post often, so come back and visit soon!*

Red Flags

Photography: Loren Stow
Every parent at some point or another wonders if their baby or child is 'on track' developmentally? The majority of parents know the basics about sitting, crawling, walking and first words, but not much beyond that.

Is it so important to understand milestones? What happens if your child misses a milestone? When do you need to get worried?

Understanding and tracking your child's milestones is important because this allows you to do three things:

Firstly, understanding where your child is in his development allows you to exercise the skills he's developing. By exercising these skills you assist in building stronger and denser neural pathways in his brain, which in turn lays a more solid foundation for the next stage of development.

Secondly, understanding where your child is in his development allows you to get to know your child as an individual and realise what his strengths and weaknesses are. You can then focus on playing games to further develop his talents and assist where needed.

Thirdly, understanding where you child is in his development will allow you to see if he's significantly delayed in any areas - these significant delays are called Red Flags, and you will then be able to take the necessary steps and start intervention as early as possible.

Red Flags come in two categories:

The first of these categories have to do with milestones and they are called Developmental Red Flags. These point out significant delays in achieving milestones, such as a child who is older than 18-months and not yet walking.

The second of these categories has to do with A-Typical behaviours and are called Behavioural Red Flags. These point out behaviours that are not typical, for example consistently only using one hand before the age of 18-months.

Early Intervention (EI) is the name given to actions taken to minimise the impact of a delay on your child's development. The earlier this intervention is started the better, because a child's brain is more impressionable during the first years.

When it comes to milestones, if you are not looking, you cannot know when you may need to focus on an area to strengthen the skill, assist your child in an area that he may be lagging, or to find Early Intervention in the case of a Red Flag.

Because of the importance of noticing Red Flags, we have created a page on the blog dedicated to them that you can refer to at any point in your child's development from birth to five years - here is the link.

Milestone's are not meant to be a judgement of your child's abilities, they are there to serve as sign-posts along the way to teaching your child to enjoy new skills and become a bright and well-rounded little learner.

Please remember to contact your nursing practitioner or doctor if you are concerned about your child's development at any point. This post and the Red Flag Page is meant as a guideline only. We believe that when it comes to parenting, knowledge is power, and when you know better you can do better.

Words: Loren Stow
when we know better... we do better

*Practica Parents: One of the unique features of the Practica Program is that it gives us the 'big picture'. We learn what to expect, as well as which activities we should focus on to amplify a child's development at every age. Try to repeat the brain-building activities listed in the Parents' Guide for your child's age group often and refrain from "working" through the list of activities as quickly as possible. Focus on having fun and the results will follow naturally!

If you would like to be notified of all new posts via email, please send an email to lizette@practicaprogram.co.za

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