The EDI assesses five development domains. These assessments are macro indicators for population based assessments of brain development, not diagnostic indicators for the development of individual children.

  • Physical health and wellbeing - a measure of brain development in connection with how it affects physical health, physical activity, coordination and wellbeing. Above the 90th percentile, a child is physically ready to tackle a new day at school, is generally independent, and has excellent motor skills. Below the 10th percentile, a child has inadequate fine and gross motor skills, is sometimes tired or hungry, usually clumsy, and may have flagging energy levels.
  • Social competence - Above the 90th percentile, a child never has a problem getting along, working, or playing with other children; is respectful to adults, self confident, has no difficulty following class routines, and is capable of pro-social behaviour. Below the 10th percentile, a child has poor overall social skills and exhibits regular serious problems in more than one area: getting along with other children; accepting responsibility for their own actions; following rules and class routines; and showing respect for adults, children, and others’ property. He or she lacks self confidence and self control, finds it difficult to adjust to change, and is usually unable to work independently.
  • Emotional maturity - Above the 90th percentile, a child almost never shows aggressive, anxious or impulsive behaviour, has good ability to concentrate, and is often helpful to other children. Below the 10th percentile, a child has regular problems managing aggressive behaviour, is prone to disobedience, and/or is easily distractible, inattentive, impulsive, usually unable to show helping behaviour towards other children, and is sometimes upset when left by the caregiver.
  • Language and cognitive development - Above the 90th percentile, a child is interested in books, reading and writing, rudimentary mathematics, is capable of reading and writing simple sentences and complex words, and is able to count and recognise numbers and geometric shapes. Below the 10th percentile, a child has problems in both reading/writing and numeracy, is unable to read and write simple words; is not interested in trying, is often unable to attach sounds to letters, has difficulty remembering things, counting to 20, recognising and comparing numbers, and is usually not interested in numbers.
  • Communication skills and general knowledge - Above the 90th percentile, a child has excellent communication skills, can tell a story and communicate with both children and adults, and has no problems with articulation. Below the 10th percentile, a child has poor communication skills and articulation, limited command of language, has difficulty talking to others, problems understanding and being understood, and has poor general knowledge.

(Mustard, J. Fraser, MD. Early Childhood Development: How does experience in early life affect brain development? 2008. p. 20-21.)

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