Review of The Ounce Scale: A Tool to Assess Developmental Milestones

Review by Laura Ramirez

Since most parents are unfamiliar with child developmental milestones, they often have difficulty coping with normal infant and toddler behaviors. This can lead to parental stress, child mistreatment and a failure to meet the child's dependency needs. When a parent begins to understand how a child grows from infancy into the toddler stage, she develops reasonable expectations and learns to look for the cues that indicate the child's progress. The Ounce Scale is a tool that helps parents and professionals work together to record, assess and celebrate an infant's progress and developmental milestones from birth through age three and one-half.

The Ounce scale comes with three assessment tools: the Observational Record, the Family Album and Developmental Profile. The Observational Record and the Developmental Profile are used by professionals (social workers, child psychologists, home visitors, early intervention specialists, teen parenting programs, Head Start and family home daycare workers, etc.) to observe and record a child's growth and developmental milestones and compare them to age-level expectations.

developmental milestones

The Family Album is a keepsake book in which the family records their child's development milestones and learns to identify the unique ways in which their child grows and expresses herself. The Family Album contains questions, examples and suggestions for parent-child activities that will foster growth in areas specific to the child's current developmental stage. For example, for babies, age 4-8 months, the Family Album explains that this stage is all about trust. The parent is prompted to identify how the baby shows he wants his mother and what he does when an adult he doesn't know comes near. This trains the parent to recognize facial and body language cues that indicate a child's feeling of trust or mistrust of those around her. Suggested activities show the ways in which a parent can build a baby's trust. The Family Album is an excellent tool for teaching parents to get to know their children and champion their growth.

The Ounce Scale is divided into eight ages that span the time from birth until 3 1/2 years. Each "age" comes with an Observational record, Family Album and Developmental Profile specific to that developmental stage. From birth to one year, there are four different Ounce Scales: birth to 4 months, 4-8 months and 8-12 months. From one year to thirty six months, there are five different Ounce Scales: 12-18 months, 18-24 months, 24-30 months, 30-36 months and 36-42 months.

The Ounce Scale is an invaluable tool for enhancing parent-child relationships and encouraging parents to actively engage the development of their child. The tool makes parents aware that each child is different. It fosters a dynamic parent-child relationship and an experiential understanding of important developmental milestones. It is a way for parents and professionals to work together to foster the healthy development of a child. The Ounce scale celebrates children's uniqueness and the family, culture and environment in which they live.

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Product Name: The Ounce Scale

Description: A multi-component tool that gives guidelines for observing and assessing a child's growth and development. Parents and professionals work together to identify developmental milestones for children between birth and 3 1/2 years.

Application: Center or university-based daycare, early Head Start, home visitors, parent support group leaders, visiting nurses, teen parenting programs, early intervention specialists, family home daycare, pediatricians and health aides.

Rating: Excellent

To order, call 1-888-832-9378 or go to:The Ounce Scale

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