Early Identification of Developmental Delay: Are Early Intervention Services Effective?
Presented in National Medical Students Paediatric Conference (NMSPC) 2013, Brighton, UK
Stefan Klimach
Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK
Aim
Early Identification, assessment and intervention facilitate successful integration into primary school with provision to meet the child's additional needs. This study aimed to determine if NSF and CYSSP standards relating to early identification, assessment and intervention are being met in Conwy and Denbighshire for children with developmental difficulties and disability and if the Flying Start intervention facilitates meeting theses standards.

Method
Children referred to the Child Development Team (CDT) between 1st of Jan 2009 and 31st of Dec 2011 were identified and the number receiving Flying Start intervention defined. Children's developmental difficulties and the age at referral were identified from the patient's medical notes.

Results
Children with severe sensory problems present early, at less than two years as did children with global developmental delay and movement problems. Very few children presented late (>5 years) indicating effective service provision. There were no statistically significant differences in age at referral or developmental problem between Flying Start and non-Flying Start referrals. For children with language and communication difficulties there did not seem to be any significant difference in time of referral between those who received Flying Start and those who did not.

Conclusion
Children requiring CDT services in Conwy and Denbighshire for developmental problems and disability are referred early so that NSF and CYSSP standards are met for assessment and intervention by the multidisciplinary, interagency CDT. Flying Start provides valuable input for deprived families with young children but does not appear to enhance this aspect of care.
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