A child study is a comprehensive look at a child’s developmental progress. It is used to determine if a child could potentially have a developmental delay or disability. A child study summarizes the information available from all sources: child, parents, teachers, and specialists. Also, questions are answered and raised through the process of gathering data and information for the child study.
Some studies are brief and geared to one developmental or teaching issue while other studies are complex and include formal assessment. If the child is found to have “special needs,” the results from the child study can be used to provide them with the supports, interventions, and services that they need.
The 7 essential elements of a child study
Essential child study elements include:
- Identifying information: name, age, sex, birth date.
- Description of the child: appearance, general physical characteristics, personality, position in the family.
- Questions, concerns, problems.
- Family background: siblings, family’s socioeconomic status, known family issues, concerns, family crises or tragedies, parental attitudes, separation issues, home, neighborhood.
- Medical history: circumstances of a child’s birth.
- Early developmental milestones.
- Current functioning; self-help and daily living skills; handling of body functions; body movement and use of body (motility, energy); facial expressions; speech and language; emotional reactions (expression and control of emotions and feelings, imagination and fantasy, self-concept, self-management skills); reaction to other children; reaction with adults; play or school activities; thinking and reasoning; problem-solving skills; health; developmental progress for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills; communication skills; school adjustment (attendance and arrival, reaction to routines, following directions, taking turns, response to support, and individualization).
What did we miss? Please keep in mind that this was meant to be a brief primer and not a comprehensive article.