Bayley scales of infant development training

Written by sally worsham
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Bayley scales of infant development training
Measuring infant development can be crucial in your baby's first couple of years of life. (baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

The Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) measure the physical and mental development as well as tests the behaviour of infants from one month to 3.5 years of age. A valuable recording tool of milestone achievements, the BSID can be used to help to diagnose and plan treatment for infants who experience developmental delays and/or disabilities.


First published in 1969 by Nancy Bayley in her book "The Bayley Scales of Infant Development," the BSID is used to assess infants all over the world. Only administered by qualified individuals such as social workers, psychologists and paediatricians specifically trained in BSID test procedures, each examination lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Parents and caregivers involve themselves with the assessment, providing details of the child's daily environment.


The BSID consists of a core battery of five scales; three of which (cognitive, motor, and language) are directed with interaction with the child, and the other two (social-emotional and adaptive behaviour) are allocated using questionnaires for parents and caregivers. Each BSID kit includes extensive clinical studies of such conditions as prematurity, Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome, as well as many studies of validity like the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Appealing toys and activities insure that the infant's interest will be stimulated and engaged. Comprehensive scoring materials and the optional scoring assistant accompany the five scales in each kit.


Perhaps most importantly, the BSID identifies both strong and weak points, along with competencies, that help establish a plan for further assessment if problems in development are suspected. If some type of intervention is necessary, the BSID works with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's (IDEA) developmental domains. The included Electronic PDA Administration Assistant, a benefit for the examiner, allows for a more efficient and accurate scoring process, according to the Pearson Assessments website.

Assessment Areas

The five areas of assessment that are measured include adaptive behaviour, cognitive, language, motor and social-emotional development. The adaptive behaviour scale focuses on communication, health and safety and self-direction. Concept formation, visual permanence, and sensorimotor development make up parts of the cognitive scale. The language scale consists of expressive (such as babbling) and receptive (identifying referenced pictures, for example) communication. Both gross and fine motor skills are measured in the motor scale, while the social-emotional scale allows for the discovery of early abilities of growth by examining how the child functions in a setting with other children.


Traditional hand-scoring on paper is an option with the BSID, but its Scoring Assistant software obtains scores for every scale, both combined and separate, and creates tables and graphs of the scores. The software also produces an easy-to-read report and profile for the parents and caregivers, which assists their understanding of the examination.

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