Tuning in to young children with developmental delay

PIP Tuning In

Young children with developmental delay will benefit from the care of a practitioner who responds to them as they are now, says Anne O’Connor…

Laila is two years ten months old and comes to playgroup for a few mornings each week. She is well settled and has a close relationship with Carol, one of the practitioners.

Laila was born prematurely and has some delayed progress. She is just starting to walk and relies on Carol to help her make the most of her time at nursery, especially in the garden.

She loves to walk around holding Carol’s hand, watching and noticing what the other children are doing. The uneven ground in the nursery garden presents her with quite a physical challenge, but thanks to Carol’s help she is able to negotiate her way around and to follow her own interests.

Laila notices the children playing at the little house. They are using sticks to reach up to rattle the wind chime, and Laila shows Carol she wants to join in and have a go by pointing up at the chime. Carol gives her a stick, but she is just too short to reach. Carol lifts her up and Laila has the satisfaction of being able to do it just the same as the others.


1 Carol’s support is very important for Laila’s progress. She is so well tuned into Laila that she is able to recognise the little shifts in her body that indicate which direction she wants to go in and what activities interest her.

Carol knows when to help her and when to stand back and let her try things for herself. Laila also knows what she can attempt by herself and when she needs help, and is secure in the knowledge that Carol will provide exactly what she needs…


Article written by Anne O’Connor and published in Nursery World © www.nurseryworld.co.uk

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