Evaluation of Five Developmental Factors among Palestine Early Childhood Using Portage Developmental Screening Tool

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Darwazeh, Farah
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جامعة النجاح الوطنية
The current study explored the range of acquisition of developmental milestones in 1622 kindergarten age children in Palestine age using an internationally standardized and locally validated scale (Portage Developmental Screening Tool) and how social factors (parents education, salary, place of residence, etc.) affected overall functioning. The sample consisted of 1608 child, were excluded166 child screening tool, so that the sample consisted of 1456 child, 43.4% female and 56.6% male children between the ages of 3 and 8 years of age all attending a kindergarten or first grade class in the included schools. According to the findings, at least 12% of the children indicated a clinical developmental delay indicated by a two-year delay in any one scale or over a two-year delay in two or over scales. In the areas of cognitive functioning, independent life skills, and physical skills, 70% to 78% of children scored below their normative biological age. In the areas of communication and social skills 57% of childrenscored below their normative developmental age. In addition, all children evaluated were in fact, attending early education programsaddressing developmental goals and academic preparation (which the majority of Palestinian children are not). Physical education (which included coordination, balance, and other basic life skills) was the area of highest delay with approximately 78% of children (scoring below age norms. Examining demographic mitigating factors, the finding demonstrated a protective effect of maternal education. Consequently, neither father’s education level nor poverty level had any effect. Income level and consanguinity (relatedness of biological parents) as well as loss of oxygen during the birth process were noted as risk factors for normal development. This research clearly defines the critical need for immediate action, if children are unable to fulfill their social and developmental potential; it harms not only their individual future, but also the societies in which they live. In recognition of that reality, it is the collective responsibility of governments, families, and all health partners in development to ensure that every individual who begins life in every corner of the world has access to family care, education, health services and nutrition including in Palestine.
: Early childhood development, Portage Program Assessment (Portage Developmental Screening Tool)