Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is Your Child Developing According to the Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist (60 Months)?

Family Tradition Photos from Posterjack jpgFor the past five years, around December, I’ve posted about our “Year in Review”* and how The Kids are doing with respect to the Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist**. I enjoy looking back over the years and seeing what we did and how The Kids have grown; literally and figuratively. This year, we created a collage to commemorate the year.

I’m going to keep up with all of these traditions but I’m also going to add a fun twist to the mix by asking The Kids a list of simple questions and then seeing how they respond to the same questions next year. For the sake of a post that’s a manageable length, I’ve posted the Annual Questions in another post.

Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist

Each year, at The Kids annual checkup, their doctor has me complete a questionnaire. It’s intended as a guide to ensure that The Kids are where they should be for their age and that their development is progressing. Fortunately, I was able to answer “Yes” to all 22 questions. I might have delayed slightly at #18 for Max.

Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist

#4 Tell long stories about own past experiences. One thing that people have always said about The Kids is that they never shut up are eager to engage and share their experiences with adults and children.

#11 Hold a pencil or crayon correctly. Artemis never stops writing and drawing and has been comfortable holding a pencil since she was three. Max not so much. He showed very little interest in writing (although he can) until starting school in December 2014. I think part of it is because we believe he’s left handed. I would say for sure if I didn’t think that he was ambidextrous. Examples of his (legible but not great) handwriting look exactly the same with both hands. There are other reasons that lead us to believe this but it’s really not important either way. Time will tell.

#22 Respond verbally to “hi” and “How are you”? This year, Nanna and Poppa noticed a major improvement in phone conversations (say from when they were three). First of all, they could understand The Kids clearly and also that The Kids talk a lot more so that others don’t have to completely carry the conversation.

Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist

One thing that I really like about the checklist is that the second page gives you some activities to do with your child and explains what each activity is meant to teach.

Have you ever used the checklist as a guide?

Our Year in Review

Here I’m going to capture some high level areas where The Kids have shown development as well as provide you with some information on what we did that may not have been captured on this blog.

Birthday Gift: Every year, The Kids get to pick one gift that they’d like for their birthday. This year, Artemis chose makeup (surprise, surprise, more on that below) and Max chose a Tonka Chuck & Friends Flip The Bounce Back racer Vehicle (Blue and Green). He first set eyes on this toy at his cousin Ethan’s in the Spring and didn’t stop talking about it until December came around. He loves it and goes through a set of (8!) batteries a DAY. Time to buy rechargeables.

Maxs Birthday Present December 2014 Tonka Racer-600

Make-up: Before I was a parent, if you’d told me that I would be giving my daughter (child friendly) makeup for her fifth birthday, I would have thought you were crazy. Make that totally crazy. Just a reminder that I was the Perfect Mother until I became one. For the past three years, she has been asking for some so we thought that it was time. Given her interest regarding the different make-ups, brushes and applications, we’ve decided to enroll her in a course in the Spring.

School: From January to March, Artemis went to school in Mexico and loved it. Even though she should have been in Junior Kindergarden, she was put into Grade 1. She made friends, learned a lot and gained tons of spoken Spanish. Max went for three days and decided it wasn’t his thing. To his credit, he wasn’t in the same class as Artemis and missed her dearly and his teacher wasn’t a good fit for him. We supported him in his decision to not go to school.

Artemis at Mexican School Spring Pageant 2014

Mexico: For the fourth year in a row (since The Kids were born), we spent almost 4 months in Mexico. They don’t seem to notice or be affected by the differences in culture like Ed and I. They love going to parties all the time, eating candies every day and always heading out on an adventure. When we’re in Mexico, they never want to leave except to quickly get a toy or two that they left in Canada.

Spanish Language: The Kids Spanish comprehension is excellent and probably equal to that of English. Max’s spoken is weak and so was Artemis’ until she started going to school.Since that time it’s improved dramatically.

Stitches: In March 2014, Max hit his forehead on the back of the van in Mexico (the night before we were scheduled to leave for Canada!?) and needed three stitches. Max fought a good fight at the hospital and it took four orderlys and Ed to hold him down. Given how much he fought, the doctor did a great job. Immediately after all was said and done, he walked out of the room with a smile on his face and was none the worse for wear. Note that I’ll unfortunately have another entry for this section come December. These kids are going to be the death of my nerves.

Toronto-Summer Attractions 2014

Toronto: This year, we spent a week in July in Toronto before heading to The Farm. We filled our time by seeing five attractions in five days. We were a bit too busy so we’ll probably only do 4 events in 5 days next time. Hoping to visit the Ontario Science Centre again.

The Farm: As usual, we spent two weeks up at The Farm. The Kids spent their time sitting on hay bales, jumping on the trampoline, flying kites, feeding the chickens and tipping cows. Okay, maybe not the last one but The Farm is something that they talk about fondly all year and ask when they’re going back again. We made our annual day trip to Canada’s Wonderland and have been invited to the Scenic Caves at Blue Mountain this year.

The Farm Haybales The Kids

Camp: For the fifth summer in a row, The Kids got to spend 5-days on the beautiful Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. Like The Farm (and all the travelling that we do), they look forward to it every year. Especially because this year, they made a friend Hayden (and we friended his Mother) so they’ll be seeing each other again in 2015. Their days were spent playing in the sand, swimming in the water, paddling with their very-own-new-and-real paddles. They took a week of private lessons in late June (the only week we had off) and were much more comfortable around the water. Regardless, they still wore lifejackets at all times.

And that’s about it. Or all that I can remember. If I don’t post this now, it will be December 2015 and I’ll be ready to post the Year in Review for 2015. Oh well, just the way we roll around here.

Max and Artemis April 2014

Do You Use the
Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist?

You can find out more about the Nipissing District Developmental Checklist program on their website.

* Here are our previous “Year in Review” posts 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

** All our Nipissing District Development Checklist posts can be found here.

19 thoughts on “Is Your Child Developing According to the Nipissing District Developmental Screen Checklist (60 Months)?

  1. Louise

    Ah the Nipissing checklist. I remember the first time my doctor gave it to me thinking “If I knew we were gonna be tested on her ability to stack blocks we would have PRACTICED!”

    Seriously though – yes we have used it and I think it’s a pretty good guide. My eldest is 5 and does most things on this list – proper pencil holding being the main weakness – anything fine motor really. But we’ve known that since the block stages 🙂 It’s a good way to flag issues broadly if you remember it is just a guide and kids develop and different rates.
    Louise recently posted…Take That Gumball Machine!My Profile

  2. Laurie P

    I was given a checklist at our playgroup, and looks like my girl is on track. For a while her speech development was a little delayed, but sure enough, this girl doesn’t stop talking and it’s as clear as day lol.

  3. AlwaysARedhead

    I never used a checklist, or even thought of using one. When the eldest started kindergarten, it was her teacher who suggested speech theraphy for a lisp. We never noticed since we were used to it. Middle child though was not diagnosed with a learning disability until high school and that was only because we paid out of pocket for an assessment, having waited years for help from the school and never received it. If I had to do it all over again, I would use a check list, I also would not have sent them to school, I would have homeschooled.
    AlwaysARedhead recently posted…My life with chronic pain, dogs, and Master BakingMy Profile

    1. Sarah Post author

      Dear AlwaysARedhead,

      I know a lot of parents don’t like the checklist because it can appear competitive and some kids just don’t fit the mold and are just fine. However, in your kids case, it might have raised some red flags and gotten your kids the help they needed earlier. As a parent to young kids, I’m happy that it exists.

      Besos Sarah.
      Sarah recently posted…Through the Eyes of a Five Year Old #PhotographyMy Profile

  4. Heidi c.

    It is great that your kids are on track. My twin girls were a little behind on the checklist at 5 but flourished once they hit kindergarten. My twin boys are only 4 1/2 but neither scores that great on the 5 year-old screen. I am hoping for more flourishing in the fall for them as well.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Dear Heidi,

      My kids are multiples too and they’ve always been a bit behind (especially in size) but as long as they’re moving along the curve, their doctor and us are happy.

      Am I correct in my understanding that you have two sets of twins? After one set of triplets, I was done. I can’t imagine if I’d had another set.

      Besos Sarah.
      Sarah recently posted…You Can Buy Anything on the Streets of Mexico. Anything.My Profile

  5. Aliya D

    Its amazing to watch them grow, learn, develop and become their own little people… I have never used the Checklist, but my boys came into my life much later (at 3 and 4 years of age respectively). I think checklists are good tools and a starting point, but each child is so unique and sometimes I think lists sometimes cause issues and problems and worries that are unnecessary.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Dear Aliya,

      Since The Kids were born at 30 weeks, they’ve always been behind. It’s been such a gift because I couldn’t play the “Mompetition” unless I always wanted to lose 😉 I call this screen a “guide” and use it as such. I have a few friends where there kids were struggling and they said that they might not have noticed without the checklist. Early intervention is key so many times. Having said that, I know exactly what you’re saying.

      Are your kids adopted? In case you didn’t know, I’m adopted. You can read about it on the blog,

      Besos Sarah.
      Sarah recently posted…WIN Tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters at the @CdnTireCtr! CAN, 4/7 #Ottawa #canwinMy Profile

      1. Aliya D

        Hi Sarah,

        I am really happy to hear your kids are doing so well! I agree, early intervention is definitely important and these tools are a great benefit. My kids are adopted. I did not know you were and will certainly check out your link!


  6. Brandee H

    Yes, I do check my sons develpent with the Nipissing Chart. My doctor uses it as well which is great! I signed up with Nipissing and they send the chart when my son is coming up to the time to check and reminders as well. It’s a great tool!

  7. Mark T

    A checklist is a practical tool for a first time parent. It can raise concerns that you were unaware of but sometimes unfounded fears are allayed.

  8. loucheryl

    My 5 year old son has ASD so he is delayed in a number of areas. He has made major improvements over the years and we are so proud of him but he is still behind his peers.

  9. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I’ve not heard of this check list but when mine were young children we lived in Germany and there we had a special little book for each child and examinations by a paediatrician at regular intervals to see how they were progressing – sounds as if it’s along the same lines. However they still didn’t catch the speech impediment of my oldest until he went to school treatment a logopedist cured that. My youngest wasn’t diagnosed as being dyslexic (and a bad one) until her 3rd year in school – months and months of visits to a specialist 3 times a week helped there. She’s now just qualified as a nurse and I’m very proud she’s done so well.


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