When to seek services during your child’s developmental milestones
“Should my baby be sitting up, walking or talking by now?” Parents delight at the first sightings of milestones in their baby’s development. Their baby’s first smile, first steps and first attempts at talking reassures parents that their baby is developing as expected. However, families of children with a developmental delay or disability, whether diagnosed at birth or later, may feel more anxious and uncertain about their child achieving his or her developmental milestones and not knowing what is considered “normal” for their child.
Through early identification and intervention services, children with special needs have the best opportunity to reach their full potential that extends through adulthood.
There is now compelling research confirming that the experiences of a child during the early formative years profoundly influence brain development and that early intervention services help prevent the achievement gap, reduce the need for special education, increase the likelihood of healthier lifestyles, and reduce overall social costs. For more information, visit heckmanequation.org.
How can parents know if their child would benefit from early intervention services?
Starting at age 2 months, it is important to check your babies’ progress in achieving milestones. Resources are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, cdc.gov, for tracking milestones and include a parent kit, checklists, and growth charts. The CDC even offers its Milestones Tracker app for download on cell phones.
If parents are concerned or have questions about their child’s development, it is a good idea to talk first to your child’s pediatrician. Parents should tell the doctor what they have observed. They also can visit the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities at ohioearlyintervention.org to arrange for a free assessment by qualified providers of the Help Me Grow program in their community, such as the Achievement Centers for Children.
The Achievement Centers for Children was a pioneer in providing family-centered early intervention services beginning in 1973. Our comprehensive array of programs include family support services; physical, occupational, and speech therapies; and our autism school. We are also a Help Me Grow Home Visiting program provider.