UH Experts Provide Essential Developmental Testing Throughout Childhood
To ensure your child is developing normally and reaching the appropriate milestones at every age, they may be referred for developmental testing at regular intervals in the first 4-5 years of life, and every 2-3 years once they are in school, depending on their condition. Early detection of potential problems allows for immediate intervention with the appropriate therapies.
The information below will help you know what to expect with the different types of testing and evaluations that may be recommended.
Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP)
This is a test of motor performance in infants from newborn through four months of age. The test assesses head control, infant positioning and functional motor performance.
This is a three-part scale assessment of the development of children between the ages of two months and two and a half years of age. Infants are tested on a cognitive scale for their ability to engage in pretend play, attend to objects or look for an object that has fallen. The language scale measures a child’s ability to understand and use spoken language to label objects or people and follow directions. The motor scale measures the child’s ability to use large and small muscle groups to climb, jump, grasp and manipulate objects. Individual scores are compared to those of other children the same age and allows the examiner to develop an early intervention program, if necessary. In many cases, developmental delays are temporary. These test results should be viewed as an assessment of current functioning.
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric (DBP) Evaluation
This is an assessment by a pediatrician that has special training in the evaluation and treatment of children with developmental and behavioral concerns. For children with congenital heart defects, this type of evaluation is particularly helpful because they are at higher risk of neurodevelopmental delays. Prior to your DBP visit, you will receive intake paperwork with questions about your child that will be helpful for the pediatrician to review before your visit. During the visit, the DBP examiner will discuss your child’s development, any concerns you may have and evaluate their interactions and play. Based on the results of the evaluation, recommendations may be made for further therapies, programs, referrals and/or opportunities to enrich development and address any behavioral concerns that you may have.
This provides an assessment of your child’s neurodevelopment, including cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. The neuropsychologist will work with your child and family to:
- Evaluate your child’s thinking skills
- Provide feedback regarding your child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses
- Provide recommendations to promote further development and learning, and
- Provide information to assist with academic planning, as needed
A neuropsychological evaluation typically involves meeting with the neuropsychologist to discuss your child’s developmental history, as well as completing questionnaires regarding his/her current behavioral, social, and emotional functioning. Your child will participate in one-on-one testing. Based on his/her age, this testing may include areas such as intellectual functioning, academic skills, language, visuospatial skills, fine motor skills and coordination, attention, executive functioning (organizational and planning skills) and/or memory.
Families are provided a summary of the assessment that includes recommendations for support and/or interventions, if needed. For example, some children may be referred for therapies such as speech therapy or occupational therapy, or you may receive guidance for school planning. For some children, this testing will provide reassurance that your child is “on track” developmentally, and no specific supports will be needed.
As part of our program, children participate in a brief neuropsychological evaluation prior to starting kindergarten. Follow-up evaluations are then recommended every two or three years to continue to monitor your child’s progress, but are also available at any point during the school years if a concern arises.