Frequently Asked Questions

 

Click on any of these questions to find the answer:

Q: How was the milestone chart created?

Q: Are parents reliable at recording developmental milestones?

Q: Don’t all children develop differently, making it impossible to have standardised milestone measurements?

Q: Are the Developing Childhood™ milestones based on average, in other words, when 50% of children achieve the milestone? If they are, doesn’t that mean that 50% of all children will fail to achieve this milestone at the designated time?

Q: Has the Developing Childhood Milestone Chart been validated?

Q: If I realise I have made a mistake during the milestone checking, can I change my answers?

Q: What happens if my child starts to slip behind in some milestones?

Q: How does the system allow for prematurity?

Q: How were the Developing Strategies created?

Q: What happens to the data collected by Developing Childhood?

Q: What about privacy issues?

Q: How was the milestone chart created?

A: An extensive review of standardised milestone charts and milestones charts used by child development experts was conducted. The criteria for selecting each milestone used in the Developing Childhood™ Milestone Chart included conforming with existing validated screening tools and milestone charts, having instructions that were easily understood by parents, ensuring tests were able to be performed in the home environment, and ensuring results were easily elicited and recorded.

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Q: Are parents reliable at recording developmental milestones?

A: Yes, numerous studies have demonstrated that parent-completed reports are a reliable and valid tool for measuring childhood milestones in the early childhood years. A landmark study on parents’ ability to report on their infant’s development conducted in 1979 suggested that parent-completed reports might offer a viable option for low-cost, accurate screening tools.

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Q: Don’t all children develop differently, making it impossible to have standardised milestone measurements?

A: A review of academic literature shows consistent reference to milestones as a valid means of measuring child development. Frank Oberklaid, a Melbourne paediatrician, stated that although no two children develop exactly the same way, when one considers the complexity of the developmental process, there is a remarkably consistent sequence followed by most children.

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Q: Are the Developing Childhood™ milestones based on average, in other words, when 50% of children achieve the milestone? If they are, doesn’t that mean that 50% of all children will fail to achieve this milestone at the designated time?

A: The Developing Childhood™ milestone chart does not use the average or 50th percentile, as, by definition, the developmental skills of 50% of children fall below the 50th percentile. Health professionals are not taught to use mean values in monitoring or screening other aspects of a child’s health, as a more accurate clinical decision is arrived at by looking at the upper and lower bounds of normal. In a study conducted by the World Health Organisation, six milestones fundamental to self-sufficient erect locomotion were studied in a group of 816 children from six countries, and percentiles and means were established. All of these six milestones are recorded on the Developing Childhood™ milestone chart above the 50th and below the 97th percentile. In this sense, the Developing Childhood™ milestone chart errs on the side of caution when time-referencing milestones.

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Q: Has the Developing Childhood Milestone Chart been validated?

A: Associate Professor Margaret Wu, Research Fellow at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne will be conducting a validation study on the Developing Childhood™ milestone chart. The study examines the progression of milestones along a developmental continuum of children between the age of 0 to 3 years. The study uses empirical data collected through the Developing Childhood™ website to validate the sequence of milestones that formed the basis of the Developing Childhood™ website. The data collected from the website will be analysed using item response models to establish the extent to which a progression of milestones can be placed along a developmental continuum. The analysis will also match the children's age with the milestones so that normative information on the relationship between age and developmental stages can also be provided.

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Q: If I realise I have made a mistake during the milestone checking, can I change my answers?

A: During the initial milestone checking (at your first visit), the answers can be changed by clicking on the Reset button. For example, if you are checking your child’s vision milestones and you realise you have made a mistake, you can click on the Reset Vision button.

Note that this will reset all of the Vision milestones, and you will have to go back to the start of Vision milestone checking. Once you have finished all of the initial milestone checking, you will be required to click on the Confirm button. Before you do this you still have the option of resetting any of the functional areas (Vision, Auditory, etc) by clicking on the appropriate tab (even though it is greyed out) and then clicking on the Reset button.

Caution - once you click on the “Confirm” button, you will no longer be able to change your answers.

During the revisit Milestone Checking, you can change your answer to individual milestones by clicking on the “Change” button that appears after you have clicked on “Complete” or Not yet complete”.

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Q. What happens if my child starts to slip behind in some milestones?

A delay detection process continually monitors each of the functional areas on the milestone chart. In the event of a delay, the first response is to increase the time allocated to the suggested activities to stimulate those particular milestones. The allocated time gradually increases over a period of several months. If at the end of this time the milestones are not being achieved , the system then generates an email that is sent to the parents. This email highlights the areas of possible delay, and provides a list of appropriate therapists that the parents are recommended to contact. For more information, see "Delay Detection" under "Learn" in the main menu.

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Q: How does the system allow for prematurity?

A: The system automatically adapts to prematurity by establishing and focusing on child’s developmental age rather than chronological age in each of the functional areas. This accommodates the varying levels of development that usually occur in each of the functional areas, and removes dependence on the child’s chronological age.

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Q: How were the Developing Strategies created?

A: Each milestone measured by the Developing Childhood™ milestone chart has a specific stimulation activity designed to facilitate the development of that milestone. These are simple, enjoyable, play-based activities easily performed by the parents. Play-based activities enhance perceptual-motor skills, language skills, attention span and emotional development, and allow for repetition. They also allow for the child to experience his or her environment, enabling the child to hear, look at, move toward, touch, and feel all the various stimuli.

The criteria used for the selection of the milestone stimulation activities included: easily performed by parents in the home environment; the instructions for each activity easily understood by parents and supplemented with video where possible; if toys or stimulation aids were required, they needed to be simple, inexpensive and readily available; the stimulation activity needed to be directly related to the milestone it was designed to stimulate.

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Q: What happens to the data collected by Developing Childhood?

A: Developing Childhood is operated under license by FOBIC Research Pty Ltd, a 100% owned entity of The Developing Foundation Inc. (www.developingfoundation.org.au). Over time, FOBIC Research and other research bodies will be analysing the important child development data gathered from Developing Childhood. This data will increase the current knowledge about the timing of milestone stages, the possible connection between missed milestone stages and developmental problems, and child development in general. This data will also be used to continually refine and improve the Developing Childhood product.

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Q: What about privacy issues?

A: To protect customer’s privacy and as stated in the Security & Privacy Policy, we would only be utilising generic data that will not include any direct personal information that identifies you as our customer unless we received prior written consent. The Security & Privacy Policy and General Terms of Condition can be accessed at the bottom right hand corner of each page of the Developing Childhood website.

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