Screening Children So Intervention Starts Early
Understand when your child needs extra support. Ask your child to build a tower of blocks. Ask her if she knows that is her reflection in a mirror. Ask him to walk on a visible straight line or cut a straight line with scissors. The questions will depend on the age of the child. The answers will indicate the developmental milestone your child has reached.
There is a countywide movement to screen children under the age of 5 so parents will know if their child has reached age appropriate milestones, or if early intervention would be beneficial. The Child Care Council’s Inclusion Project is helping to support families in understanding their child’s development and connecting them to extra support, if the need arises.
Screening young children is an effective, efficient way for parents and professionals to catch concerns and start treatment when it does the most good—during the crucial early years when the child’s brain and body are developing so rapidly.
Because developmental and social-emotional delays can be subtle and can occur in children who appear to be developing typically, most children who would benefit from early intervention are not identified until after they start school.
Developmental delays, learning disorders, and behavioral and social-emotional problems are estimated to affect one in every six children. The sooner a delay or disability is caught, the sooner the family can connect with the appropriate resources or support that makes a real difference to the child’s development.