One thing all of us parents worry about is if our child is going to grow up healthy and develop normally. Starting from the first moment you find out you are having a baby you hope and pray that pregnancy goes well and nothing unexpected happens. Once that new baby is in your arms you pray all over again that they walk on time and talk on time. Then school-age hits and you go through this cycle again hoping they will be successful, and before you know it the teenage years have passed by and you cross your fingers that they are prepared to go into the world without you. Perhaps it is natural for parents to always worry a little about how their child is doing no matter how old they are.
Fortunately, most kids will grow and develop normally without special assistance, but what about those situations where things aren’t going according to plan. Many parents come to me with questions about how to find help and what resources are available.
The first step is recognizing when help is needed. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has created helpful resources for parents to track their child’s development either by visiting their website (CDC Milestone Tracer) or downloading the free CDC Milestone Tracker App at the Apple Store or Google Play.
If you do have a concern, bring it to your doctor’s attention. A parent’s concern about their child’s development is the greatest indicator that something might be wrong. Routine well-child checks are an ideal time to speak with your doctor about your concerns. One of the primary goals of routine visits between birth and 5 years is to monitor your child’s development. During these visits, pediatricians look specifically at areas of social interaction, self-help, gross motor development, fine motor control, and language progression.
When a developmental concern is identified your pediatrician will provide advice and also help direct you to resources within the community for additional help. Within the Nebo School District one valuable resource is the early intervention team at Kids Who Count located in Salem. They are our local non-profit group dedicated to providing diagnosis, treatment, and support to children aged 0 to 3 years old who have developmental concerns. They offer no cost evaluations for any child and ongoing intervention services, such as speech therapy and physical therapy, at little to no cost to children who are found to have a developmental delay. Specific conditions they take care of include: Delays in Language, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Prematurity, Motor Delays, Physical and Intellectual Disability. For additional information, you can go to www.kidswhocount.org or call (801) 423-3000. If you happen to live in a different school district similar organizations exist and we can help you identify them as well.
Once a child turns 3 years old frequently the best location for additional assistance is your local school. By federal law schools are required to offer educational and interventional services to children who have developmental concerns. Many times, these services come in the form of early intervention Pre-School.
All of the pediatricians here at Canyon View Pediatrics are dedicated to maximizing every child’s potential and have helped countless families navigate this complex system. If you have any questions about your child’s development please make an appointment today to discuss it.
By Patrick McVey, MD
Canyon View Pediatrics