Developmental Screening is an easy, accurate way to assess a child’s developmental skills. Periodic screening helps parents and medical providers determine if a child is developing typically, or if the child is at risk for a developmental delay. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a complete developmental screening be completed during well-child visits at least 3 times during a child’s first 5 years of life. The recommended timing of these screenings currently is at age 9 months, 18 months, and 30 months. Complete developmental screening includes a review of parental concerns regarding the child’s development, behavior, family risk factors including parental stress, and depression in addition to an assessment of the child’s communication, fine motor, gross motor, problem solving, and social-emotional development.
Children identified by this process as having an increased risk for a delay in one or more of these areas may be referred for further evaluation by another source like the local Area Education Agency’s Early ACCESS Program. This additional evaluation may indicate the need for early intervention that could include in-home or preschool based services depending on the age of the child. Earlier identification of a delay with early initiation of intervention services sets the stage for the best possible outcome for the child. Early detection and intervention for even a slight delay provides the best chance for the child to "catch up" in order to be ready for kindergarten when they reach school age.
The 1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative promotes the use of developmental screening by medical providers. 1st Five is working with medical providers in Washington and Henry County to help them incorporate the use of developmental screening tools in their practice. If you are interested in having a developmental screen conducted for your child, talk to your child’s medical provider at their next well child visit. If your provider is not yet using screening tools, please contact Washington County Public Health to schedule a time for your child’s screen through the Maternal and Child Health Program. For more information on 1st Five click here.
Children enrolled in the The Family Connection are screened at least annually to make sure they are meeting their developmental milestones within the expected age range. If you are interested in enrolling your child in The Family Connection, call Public Health and ask to speak to their staff.
For more information about The Family Connection, click here!
For more information about childhood development visit or click on link: www.zerotothree.org.
Early ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children, birth to age three, and providers from the Departments of Education, Public Health, Human Services, the Child Health Specialty Clinics. This program provides for assistance for the family with an infant and toddler. The team works together to identify, coordinate and provide needed services and resources.
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