Many parents do not know where to turn when they are concerned about their child’s development. In one community I lived in, the lead agency placed ongoing advertisements in the local newspaper that they were conducting a free screening fair the third Friday of every month at the local library. Parents with concerns about their child could visit the library that day and meet a specialist who would conduct a developmental screening during a play-based assessment, as well as have the parent complete a questionnaire about their child’s growth and development. The screening is at no cost to the family or parent(s). Each community has their own way of doing what the law calls, “Child Find.” Community awareness and developmental-behavioral screening assessments are required in order to address parental concerns.
If you are a parent, here are some questions to consider:
Is there anything about my child that concerns me?
What do I hope to find out from the screening assessment?
How would I describe my child to a professional who is unfamiliar with my child or family?
How does my child communicate?
How does my child play?
How does my child participate in routines?
How does my child perform self-help tasks like washing hands, feeding, toileting, etc.?
How does my child use her small and large muscles?
How does my child interact with familiar and unfamiliar adults?
How does my child interact with familiar and unfamiliar peers?
What are my child’s strengths?
What are some of my child’s characteristics that make me smile or laugh?
What are the best ways to communicate follow up information with me? Email, phone, text, face-to-face meetings, etc.? Do I need an interpreter?
If you would like more information about screening, contact Dr. Macy and/or check out this book:
Bricker, D., Macy, M., Squires, J., & Marks, K. (2013). Developmental screening in your community: An integrated approach for connecting children with services. Paul H Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, MD.