University of Reading researchers have designed an easy to use test to detect delayed learning in premature babies. ERIC – the Early Report by Infant Caregivers – can be conducted at home by parents or caregivers using simple household objects like clothes pins, bowls, and small toys.

ERIC can be downloaded from the internet and takes about an hour to complete, but it can be done over the course of a week. Parents can take a break at any time and resume later to get the best out of their baby.

Dr. Graham Schafer, the project leader, said, “In our study ERIC identified well over 90% of the cases of delay. And crucially, if ERIC says your child is not delayed, there is over a 99% chance that is correct. So ERIC is a very reliable tool which clinicians can give to worried parents, or to anyone looking after an at-risk child. A ‘positive’ ERIC could then result in the child undergoing a Bayley.”

Bayley refers to the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, an assessment currently used in many clinics. ERIC can be used anytime between 10 – 24 months; Bayley is used at fixed points, like 24 months.

ERIC information and download.

Find more developmental information and guidelines here.