Red Flags

Know the signs! Act early! A child’s healthy development including social, emotional, communication, and behavior must be monitored by parents, physicians and other health professionals at every well visit.  Refer families to First Words or Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre services for their child if:

  • Parents  have concerns regarding their child’s speech and language development
  • A child does not meet developmental milestones
  • A child shows a high-risk indicator/a red flag

If a child presents with one or more of these red flags at any age, REFER IMMEDIATELY:

  • Does not meet speech and language milestones
  • Lack or limited eye gaze with others
  • Lack of shared interest and enjoyment in others
  • Lack of response to sounds and/or name
  • Lack of showing or pointing gestures
  • Limited number of communicative gestures
  • Stutters
  • Repeated ear infections
  • Limited play skills and/or pretend play
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Is difficult to understand
  • Acts frustrated when trying to communicate
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing food
  • Voice problems (rough or raspy voice; too much air coming out of nose)
  • Repetetive use of objects or body movements
  • ANY loss of LANGUAGE and/or SOCIAL SKILLS at ANY age.

Consult the “Where to refer” section on how to do this.


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