Program Helps Screen Kids for Developmental Delays

Dothan, AL - Local toddlers and preschoolers are getting a head start on their education. The Help Me Grow: Book, Balls, and Blocks event screened for developmental delays, but the kids would never know it.

Three year old Paige thought she was learning to hula hoop, but she’s really doing much more.

“To see where she was at in learning, it's been a major increase to what she's learned then to now,” said her mm Temcia Robinson.

Paige is part of the early head start program in Dothan. Tuesday, the center hosted an event designed to detect developmental delays.

“During this playtime the parents are completing a questionnaire called the ages and stages questionnaire. It's a simple developmental screening that lets parents know for sure that their kids are on track developmentally,” said Robin Mackey, Alabama Partnership for Children.

From building with blocks, playing with play dough, reading , and even digging for some buried treasure it helped develop everything from their motor skills to their social skills to prepare them for school. It also helped to strengthen the family.

This is just a time for the parents to come through and focus some time on their child's development. Also to be with other parents in that process and watch their kids have a lot of fun.

The kids in the early head start program are no older than five. Experts say this age is critical to a child’s learning.

“The earlier you can identify a delay the better off the child and the family are. It totally changes the life of any child where we are able to identify a delay as early as possible,” said Mackey.

Paige has been in the program for a little more than a year, and her mom can see a difference. That’s why she’s encouraging others to get involved.

“I would tell them to just go for it. Just do it. Because it gives your kid an early head start in learning,” said Robinson.

For more information about the questionnaire or the early head start program, go to http://www.dothanfamily.com/ehs.html, or call 334-794-4929.


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