Five years


Can you believe it’s been 3 years since we last saw you?! By now your child will have grown up a lot and developed many new skills and abilities. We will invite you to visit our child development lab once again so that we can measure some of these. This visit will be similar to the previous visits and will include nasal and saliva sample collection, questionnaires, eye-tracking and a video recorded play session. Since your child can do much more than the last time we saw you, there will be a few extra questionnaires than at previous visits for you to fill out and we will ask your child to play some structured games with our researcher.

Meet our team of researchers at Kennedy Tower and see the kind of activities they do with the children in this short video.

For information about how we process your personal data please access our GDPR Participant Information here.


Here is an overview about what will happen at the appointment. Breaks can be taken as often as you or your child need and there will be drinks and healthy snacks provided.

  • We will ask a parent to complete a number of questionnaires which ask about: parental well-being; the child’s behaviour; communication; social skills and peer relationships; language and learning. Some of these will also be completed by your child’s school teacher.
  • We will play some games with your child and ask them to complete some exercise so that we can measure their IQ
  • We will ask one parent and the child to play freely together for ten minutes while we film. We will provide a special set of suitable toys for this. You don’t have to follow any special instructions – just play as you would at home.
  • We will do some eye-tracking with the child. This means that they watch some pictures and cartoons on a TV screen. While this is happening, a special infra-red camera will record exactly where they are looking. We can use their looking patterns to work out what they are interested in, what they can remember and what they can learn.


Also, for some families:

  • We will take a nasal sample using a couple of little bits of absorbent paper which we gently put inside your child’s nostrils.
  • We will also take a saliva sample, by gently rubbing a cotton wool bud along their gum.


These extra items apply only to a small group of families who were asked for, and gave permission for the same samples to be collected at birth.


This appointment will take place at the child development lab in Kennedy Tower, in Morningside. Parking is available on nearby streets (e.g. Millar Crescent, Morningside Terrace) – please pay for 3 hours and we will reimburse you at the lab. For more information about the local area including bus links, see this page.

Child Development Lab, Kennedy Tower, Morningside Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 5HF
Phone number
Child Development Lab: 0131 637 46640

Study Mobile: 07584642277


When you arrive at the Tower please tell reception you are here for the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort and someone (probably Sinead!) will come down to meet you. The Tower has lift access and an accessible toilet. There will be drinks and healthy snacks for you and your child – please let us know if you have any allergies.

What to bring

You! And your child! You don’t need anything special for the appointment, but you might want to bring your usual supplies. However, we always have things like emergency wet wipes and healthy snacks so don’t worry. The best thing for us is if just one parent comes to the appointment. The exception is if you have twins (or more) or are bringing an older child too. In that case, a second adult might be useful and we can provide a separate space for them to wait.


Sometimes, with your permission, we might ask you if a student or trainee can sit in on your appointment too. There would only ever be one extra person there.


Will I be told my child’s IQ score?

Since we only use averages of scores from all the children in the study for our research, information about individual scores will not be available.

What if you find that my child is developing more slowly than other children or has some problems?

None of the tools we are using are designed to diagnose any specific conditions, they are just exploratory tools used for research. However, if we find anything that might benefit further exploration we will notify a relevant healthcare professional.

What if my child can't concentrate for a long time on one thing?

We try to make the visit as fun and easy as possible for each child. If your child is finding a particular part boring or difficult then we can take a break or switch to something else and come back to it later.

Can I bring my other children to the visit?

Yes absolutely, we can provide a place for your other child(ren) to play or draw while the testing session is ongoing. However, it may be a little long and boring for a sibling so maybe think about taking some toys or  other things to entertain them.

More questions? Please get in touch.