Child Development Assessment

As parents, watching your children grow and develop is one of life’s greatest joys. Every developmental milestone reached is a cause for celebration. 

However, with every achievement, there may be moments of uncertainty. Are they progressing at the expected rate? Are there areas they may need extra support?

Checking your child’s growth is possible with a child development assessment—your essential tool for tracking progress and spotting developmental hurdles early on. 

What is child development assessment, and why is it important?

Child development assessments are indispensable tools that monitor a child’s accomplishments and maturation across cognitive, social, linguistic, emotional, and physical domains. 

They are essential for:

Identifying potential challenges: Observing your child’s developmental milestones to spot possible developmental delays or disabilities.

Early intervention: Early intervention provides parents with tools and understanding to enable their child to receive support for their developmental needs.

At what age should a child undergo developmental assessment?

Formal developmental assessments are recommended at key developmental stages, such as infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, and school age. However, developmental assessments are not limited to specific age brackets. Instead, they should be ongoing throughout childhood to monitor regular child development.

Early childhood assessments may begin as early as the first few months of life, focusing on milestones related to motor skills, communication, social interaction, and cognitive abilities. As children grow, assessments may become more comprehensive, covering additional areas such as academic performance, emotional regulation, and adaptive behaviour.

Common developmental concerns and disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Social interaction difficulties and repetitive behaviours characterise Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) impacts a child’s ability to focus and control impulses. 

Learning difficulties

Learning difficulties present unique challenges in reading, writing, and maths. 

Speech and language disorders

Speech and language disorders can hinder children’s ability to communicate effectively.

Child development screening tests

Screening tests are part of the assessment, helping paediatricians understand a child’s language, movement, thinking, behaviour, and emotions at various stages, providing insight into their abilities. By gathering data from these tests, specialists can ascertain whether a child is doing well or needs intervention. 

Screening test for gross or fine motor delay

  • Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) assesses gross motor, fine motor, language, and personal-social skills. It’s often used for children up to 6 years old.

Screening tests for speech and language delays

  • The Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) include questions about speech and language development, among other areas of development. They are used for children from birth to 5 years old.
  • MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI) assesses early language development in children. It’s typically used for children up to 30 months old.

Screening tests for learning and behavioural problems

  • Behaviour Assessment System for Children (BASC): BASC evaluates various behavioural and emotional issues in children aged 2 to 21.
  • Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scales (CBRS): CBRS assesses various behavioural, emotional, and academic issues in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18.

Screening tests for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Vanderbilt Assessment Scales: These scales include parent and teacher questionnaires to assess ADHD symptoms in children aged 6 to 12.
  • Conners Rating Scales: The Conners scales also include measures to assess ADHD symptoms and other behavioural issues in children aged 6 to 18.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) related to child development and behavioural needs

  • Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT): M-CHAT is a questionnaire used to screen for ASD in children aged 16 to 30 months old.
  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS): ADOS is a semi-structured observation tool used by professionals to assess social interaction, communication, and play in individuals suspected of having ASD across different age ranges.

Speech therapy for children

Speech therapy may be recommended as an intervention for children with speech and developmental delays. Speech therapy is aimed at improving communication skills, including speaking, listening, understanding, and using language effectively. Here’s how it helps children:

  1. Improves communication skills: Speech therapy targets specific areas of difficulty in communication, such as articulation (pronunciation of sounds), language comprehension and expression, fluency (stuttering), and voice quality.
  2. Enhances social interaction: Effective communication is essential for social interactions. Speech therapy helps children develop essential skills to interact with others confidently and successfully.
  3. Boosts academic performance: Strong communication skills are linked to academic success. Speech therapy can help children overcome language barriers that may impede their ability to learn and excel in school.
  4. Builds confidence and self-esteem: Struggling with communication can be frustrating and lead to low self-esteem. Our speech therapists provide strategies and support to help children overcome challenges, leading to increased confidence and a positive self-image.

Child development services

Our child development services are designed to promote healthy growth and address developmental concerns in children. Here are the key components.

    • Consultation and intervention: When developmental delays or concerns are identified, consultations will be arranged to discuss appropriate interventions.
    • Therapy and referrals: Children may receive specialised therapies to address specific developmental areas. Referrals to other professionals or specialists may be necessary for further evaluation and intervention.
    • Counselling and support: Children and families may receive counselling and support to address developmental challenges. We help navigate the challenges associated with raising a child with developmental needs.
    • Early facilitation and intervention: We facilitate access to early intervention services by connecting families with appropriate resources, advocating for their needs, and coordinating care across various service providers.

Child development assessment in Singapore

Child development assessment is instrumental in identifying and addressing developmental issues in children, ensuring timely interventions and support for optimal growth and well-being. 

At SWC Medical Group, we provide assessment and intervention services to help children in Singapore reach their full potential and thrive. Our multidisciplinary approach involves collaboration between child development specialists, paediatric speech therapists, occupational therapists, and paediatricians to ensure thorough evaluation and tailored interventions. 

Book a consultation for your child’s developmental check-up today. 

Frequently asked questions

Yes, developmental assessments can be adapted to meet the needs of children with special needs or disabilities. Our team of specialists is experienced in conducting evaluations for children with various developmental conditions and tailoring interventions accordingly.

Speech therapy approaches may vary depending on the child’s age and specific needs. Therapy may focus on early language skills, speech sound production, and play-based activities for younger children. In comparison, older children may work on more complex language skills, social communication, and literacy development.

Common speech and language disorders in children include articulation, phonological, language delays, stuttering, and voice disorders.

Yes, speech therapy can benefit children with developmental delays or disorders, including autism. Therapeutic interventions aim to improve communication skills, social interaction, and overall functional abilities, enhancing the child’s quality of life and independence.

Yes, speech therapy can be crucial in addressing issues related to reading and writing skills, such as phonological awareness, comprehension, spelling, and handwriting. By targeting underlying language and cognitive abilities, speech therapists can support children in developing literacy skills essential for academic success.

Our child development specialist

Dr Janice Wong Tzen Yuen

Paediatrics, Neurology, Child Development

Dr Janice Wong Tzen Yuen is a paediatrician specialising in paediatric neurology and neuro-disability. With expertise in managing newborn and childhood diseases, she focuses on paediatric neurology and developmental disorders such as global developmental delay, speech delay, autism spectrum disorder, and ADHD. Dr Wong is also skilled in caring for children with cerebral palsy and other neuro-disabilities. 

Why choose
Singapore Women's & Children's
Medical Group?

Full spectrum of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and tertiary Paediatric services

At Singapore Women’s & Children’s Medical Group (SWC Medical Group), we offer a full spectrum of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and tertiary Paediatric services, ensuring well-rounded care for women and children at every stage of life. 

Team of experienced medical specialists

Our team of experienced developmental paediatricians is committed to delivering personalised care and evidence-based interventions to meet the unique needs of each child and family. 

Dedicated management team

Our Group Chief Executive Officer, Directors and management team are actively involved in the management of our medical clinics, which enables us to respond quickly to the requirements of our patients and to make decisions promptly.