Compared to the year old development, I have been really nervous for this. I’m not sure why but it had really got under my skin.
All I could think about was if they would think Lily was behind, or slow or just not on track with her skills.
About two weeks before the appointment, we were sent a questionnaire called ASQ-3 (Ages and stages questionnaire) and it felt a bit more detailed than the one from the 1 year check. One of the sections involved seeing if your child will naturally copy something you do without any prompting. For example, one question asked me to draw three straight lines and to watch if Lily did the same. Although she did this, it took a few attempts. Drawing isn’t one of Lily’s best activities, she would much rather colour a picture that has already been drawn.
It also asked questions such as “Does your child walk either up or down the stairs using two feet per step?” and “without holding for support, does your child kick a ball”. Although they are simple, they made me really think about Lily’s abilities. Usually, I just praise her a bit when she learns something new. For some reason, all of this left me questioning everything she can and can’t do and made me not want to go to the appointment. How wrong was I!
It was actually, really good experience. Lily walked into the room and had a really good time playing with the health visitor. They managed to work all the checks they needed to do into a variety of games and role play activities.
The best one was definitely the tea party role play. I brought out Lily’s biggest strength, communication. She chat to anyone who will listen. She demonstrated her “please” and “thank you” skills as well as ‘do you want tea?” and “some more?”. There was something beautiful about it to watch. It highlighted just how much she had learnt in the two years she has been here.
By the end of the session, we came back to the questionnaire and after worrying about if my answers were right or what they were looking for, Lily ended up scoring really highly to the point where the health visitor doing the examination said it was the highest she had seen (I was so happy and asked her to double-check!)
When it gets to your turn to go through this I would say just go with it. I’ve learnt that it isn’t a test. They do the questionnaire so that they can see from you, as the parent, what the child can do in an environment where they fill comfortable. They also don’t pressurising them into doing something they don’t want to do, they go with how the child is feeling and reacting to them.
Also, don’t forget to take your child’s Red Book! This will be needed to record your child’s height and weight.