Delay Detection

Developing Childhood is able to detect when a child shows the first signs of slipping behind in his or her milestones. There is a great deal of scientific research that demonstrates the importance of early intervention. This importance is perhaps best described in the following quote from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a group of leading child development scientists in the United States:

“Creating the right conditions for early childhood development is likely to be more effective and less costly than addressing problems at a later age. As the maturing brain becomes more specialized to assume more complex functions, it is less capable of reorganizing and adapting to new or unexpected challenges. Once a circuit is “wired,” it stabilizes with age, making it increasingly difficult to alter. Scientists use the term “plasticity” to refer to the capacity of the brain to change. Plasticity is maximal in early childhood and decreases with age. Although “windows of opportunity” for skill development and behavioural adaptation remain open for many years, trying to change behaviour or build new skills on a foundation of brain circuits that were not wired properly when they were first formed requires more work and is more “expensive.” Stated simply, getting things right the first time is more efficient.” (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007)

Developing Childhood goes one step further than early intervention, as it provides real time detection and real time intervention. It detects and responds to any potential delays in the following way:

  • A delay detection algorithm continually monitors each of the functional areas on the milestone chart. It calculates the percentage of milestones marked as complete compared to the total number of milestones for the child’s chronological age in each functional area.
  • A delay intervention algorithm responds if this percentage falls below a certain level.
  • The first response is to increase the time allocated to the Developing Strategies in the functional areas which have been detected by the algorithm. The allocated time gradually increases over a period of several months.
  • If at the end of this time the percentage difference between the completed and not yet completed milestones is still below a certain level, the system then generates an email that is sent to the parents. This email highlights the areas of possible delay, and provides a list of appropriate therapists that the parents are recommended to contact.
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