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Screening FAQs

My doctor suggested that I have my two-year-old screened. What is a screening and who do I call?

What does a “developmental screening” cover?

Why is it important to have a child’s development screened at an early age?

What should I look for when choosing a screening service?

What is Autism?

How is Autism identified and at what age?

What are gross motor skills and why are they so important to development?

What are fine motor skills and why are they so important to development?

Q: My doctor suggested that I have my two-year-old screened. What is a screening and who do I call?

A: A developmental screening is a tool to assess your child’s developmental progress and will look at the areas of personal-social skills, fine and gross motor skills, speech, and language. A typical screening takes about 30 minutes with results available to the parent immediately following the screening process.
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Q: What does a “developmental screening” cover?

A: A developmental screening checks a child’s progress in gross motor skills, fine motor skills, speech, and learning, as well as checking for autism.
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Q: Why is it important to have a child’s development screened at an early age?

A: Children grow, learn, and develop throughout their lives. A child’s development can be monitored by the way they play, talk, see, hear, think, move, and interact with others. Early identification of developmental delays can provide the child with the opportunity to receive services such as speech and developmental therapies that stimulate and support early development.
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Q: What should I look for when choosing a screening service?

A: A screening service should be flexible to accommodate the parent, come from a well-known provider with a good reputation, and have a qualified staff.
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Q: What is Autism?

A: Autism is a developmental disability that interferes with a person's ability to communicate and socialize. For an individual with Autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together. Autism affects each person differently and to varying levels of ability.
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Q: How is Autism identified and at what age?

A: There are some early warning signs of Autism that can be identified as young as 18 months (in some cases earlier). Screening tools such as the M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) help identify specific behaviors demonstrated by a child that may indicate a risk for a diagnosis of Autism. The child should be monitored or evaluated further by a physician or mental health professional.
Early identification of all potential developmental delays followed by appropriate early intervention steps is important to provide the best opportunities for a child’s future success. The beginning years of a child’s life are critical to early learning and their social and emotional development.
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Q: What are gross motor skills and why are they so important to development?

A: A gross motor skill is an action that involves the movement of muscles in the body such as the arm, leg, and foot. Healthy lifestyle habits start during the first years of life. You can help your toddler build lifelong positive attitudes about fitness by engaging your child in daily routines which include enjoyable physical activity. There are a number of activities that parents can do to help develop gross motor skills:

  • Hopscotch
  • Bounce/catch/throw/kick a ball
  • Stand/hop on one foot
  • Jump forward/backward over objects
  • Run
  • Climb/descend stairs with alternating feet

Don’t forget these skills can be learned and will continue to improve with plenty of opportunity to exercise and practice! If you are concerned your child may have difficulty in this area, consider a developmental screening.
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Q: What are fine motor skills and why are they so important to development?

A: Fine motor skills involve the development of small muscle movements of the hands. Fine motor skills will enable your child to perform a variety of functional tasks like:

  • Zipping
  • Developing a proper pencil grip
  • Buttoning
  • Holding and using utensils properly
  • Buckling
  • Picking up or manipulating small objects
  • Using scissors
  • Turning things over
  • Writing legibly

If you notice your preschool-age child struggling with any of the above-mentioned skills and you are concerned they may have under-developed fine motor skills, consider a developmental screening.
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