When I was in private practice, it was my job to determine "what" was going on and "why" it was happening. Many of the answers about the "why" were in the extensive developmental history I asked parents to complete.
Parents groaned when I handed them the extensive document, but then, they "got into it". When I "connected" the history to the "current situation", a lot of light bulbs went off for them.
Because parents learned so much through the process, they came to value the information and frequently, requested multiple copies of the history from the examiner in order to work through the process and give each of their kids this kind of attention. They added to the form as their child matured so that their journey was documented. A valuable gift, indeed.
- Is it possible that your child inherited some of their difficulties? Autism, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia, mood disorders (bipolar, depression), and even sociopathy have a strong genetic component. Ask grandparents, aunts and uncles about their struggles with school and friends and their physical health.
- Was your child conceived using assisted reproductive technology? Research has determined a relationship between In Vitro Fertilization and autism, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and learning disabilities.
- Did you have complications during the birth process? If your child spent more than an average amount of time in the birth canal (the "pushing" process) whether or not you ended up needing a "crash" C-section, the intense pressure in the birth canal on the sides of the head and the forehead can result in language processing and attentional disorders.
- Did you attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean)? If you ended up having a Cesarean for reasons unrelated to the baby's position, you may be vulnerable to having those same issues with subsequent births. I ask, "Can you live with the consequences?" Your child may end up having a lifetime of struggles related to your decision to having a vaginal birth.
- Did your child have colic, trouble achieving independent sleep or have difficulty soothing themselves? If so, these challenges may be the first signs of a regulatory disorder or a developmental issue (ADHD, autism, intellectual disabilities).
Considering that this kind of information can be learned after reviewing just a few pages, you can appreciate the value of this process.
If your child's pediatrician, speech and language therapist or psychologist/clinician asks these kinds of questions, there's a serious reason. Make sure you provide the most accurate information possible.
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