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Child Development

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The early years of a child’s life are very important for his or her health and development. Healthy development means that children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, …

The early years of a child’s life are very important for his or her health and development. Healthy development means that children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, are able to grow up where their social, emotional and educational needs are met. Having a safe and loving home and spending time with family?playing, singing, reading, and talking are very important. Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest also can make a big difference.


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  • 1. Fitango Education Health Topics Child Developmenthttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=393
  • 2. OverviewThe early years of a child’s life are very importantfor his or her health and development. Healthydevelopment means that children of all abilities,including those with special health care needs, areable to grow up where their social, emotional andeducational needs are met. Having a safe andloving home and spending time withfamily?playing, singing, reading, and talking arevery important. Proper nutrition, exercise, and restalso can make a big difference. 1
  • 3. Monitoring and ScreeningYour child’s growth and development are kepttrack of through a partnership between you andyour health professional. At each well-child visitthe doctor looks for developmental delays orproblems and talks with you about any concernsyou might have. This is called developmentalmonitoring (or surveillance). Any problems noticedduring developmental monitoring should befollowed-up with developmental screening. 2
  • 4. Monitoring and ScreeningChildren with special health care needs shouldhave developmental monitoring and screening justlike those without special needs. Monitoringhealthy development means paying attention notonly to symptoms related to the child’s condition,but also to the child’s physical, mental, social, andemotional well-being. 3
  • 5. Monitoring and ScreeningWell-child visits allow doctors and nurses to haveregular contact with children to keep track of?ormonitor? your child’s health and developmentthrough periodic developmental screening.Developmental screening is a short test to tell if achild is learning basic skills when he or she should,or if there are delays. Developmental screening canalso be done by other professionals in health care,community, or school settings. 4
  • 6. Monitoring and ScreeningThe doctor might ask you some questions or talkand play with the child during an examination tosee how he or she plays, learns, speaks, behaves,and moves. A delay in any of these areas could bea sign of a problem.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendsthat all children be screened for developmentaldelays and disabilities during regular well-childdoctor visits at: 5
  • 7. Monitoring and Screening-- 9 months-- 18 months-- 24 or 30 monthsAdditional screening might be needed if a child isat high risk for developmental problems due topreterm birth, low birth-weight, or other reasons. 6
  • 8. Monitoring and ScreeningIf your child’s doctor does not routinely check yourchild with this type of developmental screeningtest, you can ask that it be done.**Why It’s Important** 7
  • 9. Monitoring and ScreeningMany children with developmental delays are notbeing identified as early as possible. As a result,these children must wait to get the help they needto do well in social and educational settings (forexample, in school). 8
  • 10. Monitoring and ScreeningIn the United States, about 13% of children 3 to 17years of age have a developmental or behavioraldisability such as autism, intellectual disability(also known as mental retardation), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In addition, manychildren have delays in language or other areasthat can affect school readiness. However, fewerthan half of children with developmental delaysare identified before starting school, by which timesignificant delays already might have occurred and 9
  • 11. Monitoring and Screening **Early Intervention Services**Research shows that early intervention treatmentservices can greatly improve a child’s development.Early intervention services help children from birththrough 3 years of age (36 months) learnimportant skills. Services include therapy to helpthe child talk, walk, and interact with others. 10
  • 12. Monitoring and Screening **Early Intervention Services**The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA) says that children younger than 3 years ofage (36 months) who are at risk of havingdevelopmental delays, might be eligible for earlyintervention treatment services even if the childhas not received a formal diagnosis. These servicesare provided through an early intervention systemin each state. 11
  • 13. Monitoring and Screening **Early Intervention Services**In addition, treatment for particular symptoms,such as speech therapy for language delays, oftendoes not require a formal diagnosis. Although earlyintervention is extremely important, interventionat any age can be helpful. 12
  • 14. Developmental milestonesSkills such as taking a first step, smiling for the firsttime, and waving "bye-bye" are calleddevelopmental milestones. Children reachmilestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave,and move (for example, crawling and walking). 13
  • 15. Developmental milestonesChildren develop at their own pace, so itsimpossible to tell exactly when a child will learn agiven skill. However, the developmental milestonesgive a general idea of the changes to expect as achild gets older. 14
  • 16. Developmental milestonesAs a parent, you know your child best. If your childis not meeting the milestones for his or her age, orif you think there could be a problem with yourchild’s development, talk with your child’s doctorand share your concerns. Don’t wait. 15