Hesperian Health Guides
Chapter 5: Simple Ways to Measure and Record a Child’s Progress
It is important to keep records of each child’s progress. Careful records help workers and parents to follow the change in the individual child, and to evaluate the effectiveness of advice, therapy, and aids.
We need a clear view of the progress of the whole child in all areas — physical, mental, and social. The Child Development Chart will help us to do this for younger children. For children over 5, at the end of this chapter there is a simple chart (RECORD SHEET 5) for evaluating a child’s increasing ability to do things.
When the parents and child themselves regularly measure and record a child’s progress, they become more aware of gradual improvements. But let them know that the child’s progress may be very slow and it may take several weeks, or even months, before they notice any real improvement. Encourage them to be patient and to continue with the important exercises, aids, and activities.
Unfortunately, the medical way to record physical deformities and contractures uses difficult-to-measure angles, and jargon and symbols that many people do not understand. To make it easier for families to evaluate progress, simpler, clearer and more enjoyable ways to measure, record, and interpret information are needed. The following pages show some easier methods families have developed.