Help Me Grow - Developmental Screenings

From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern. LEARN MORE AT CDC.GOV


 

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.
Chinese Proverb

Child development is how a child grows, how they learn and how they progress over time from birth through adolescence. All though all children advance through childhood at their own rate, certain skills develop and follow a set order around the same time for most children. For example, at two months old, most babies will smile for the first time, will try to focus and look at their parent, they will begin to coo and will turn towards the sound of voices they recognize. These are developmental milestones typical to their age and are signs that the baby is developing appropriately.  Developmental Screenings are used to ensure that a child’s development is meeting set milestones. If not, it can be an indicator that early intervention is needed. Acting and intervening early can make the difference of a lifetime for that child!  The CDC advises, “Learn the Signs!  Act Early!”  

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for general development using standardized, validated tools at 9, 18, and 24 or 30 months and for autism at 18 and 24 months or whenever a parent or provider has a concern. Unfortunately, many children are not seen regularly by a pediatrician; consequently, their development is not being monitored.  

Part of the federally funded COIIN grant is to ensure all children have access to regular, validated developmental screenings. SCHC, in partnership with Parents as Teachers and Read Aloud Delaware, have added a Language and Literacy information session to already scheduled play group sessions, as well as the opportunity for parents to have their children screened. These play group sessions have met with great success and are a wonderful way to engage parents! As an incentive to continue to return to the play groups and to engage with other parents, families who attend three full sessions receive a brand new “Pete the Cat” book.  

Additionally, SCHC has been partnering with the University of Delaware Center for Disability Studies to address Developmental Milestones during WIC visits. Parents will be given a Developmental Milestone check list at their WIC visit. If a certain number of indicators are identified, then parents will be invited to text “Help Me Grow” who will then follow up with a phone call and an invitation for their child to be formally screened. The goal is to encourage families to follow up with Help Me Grow as soon as possible to ensure a greater, more positive outcome for their child.  

SCHC is also developing a set of PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) along with WBOC that underscores the importance of periodic developmental screenings. These PSA’s will be played in State Service Centers, Doctors offices and on social media.  

 “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.” ~ F. Douglas

 

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