There’s an old adage which states that “No news is good news,” and, in many cases, that may be true. But when it comes to the development of your child, it’s important to know as much as possible, as early as possible. 

The Child Development Center knows this, which is why it provides free Developmental Screenings to the community. With summer ending and fall approaching, now is the perfect time for parents to bring their kiddos in for a Developmental Screening, before going back to school. 

“On average, the Child Development Center screens about a thousand children a year,” said Alisha Rone, the Executive Director of CDC. “It’s for children ages birth-5, but we recommend getting one before the age of two, and one before the child goes to preschool.”

As the CDC website states, a child’s brain grows exponentially throughout his or her first few years. They learn their first words, they take their first steps, they dream their first dreams. The CDC website states that 90% of a child’s brain development happens before they turn three years old. These first few years are vital and it’s important for parents to know exactly where their babies are, and where they could be headed. 

“The developmental screenings let parents know that their child is on track for meeting their developmental milestones,” Rone shared. “Obviously, with children at an early age, you want to make sure that their development is on track with speech, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, cognitive skills, and more.”

The screenings review all of those areas for children and inform the parents just where their kiddos are at. 

These screenings test hearing, vision, thinking/reasoning, communication skills, and physical movement skills. For the children, this is a fun way to spend an hour or so playing. And for parents, it’s a chance to see and understand how, exactly, their child is developing.

“It’s fun for the kids,” Rone said. “They love doing it, and it’s fun for the parents to see everything that their kiddo knows, that they may not yet realize. It gives us an opportunity to let the parents know what they could be working on at home to help their child succeed in meeting their developmental milestones. Additionally, it’s free for families, so why wouldn’t you do it?” 

Throughout the summer and early fall, CDC offers a number of different screening days, including some Saturdays. CDC knows that many parents work throughout the week and taking time off is difficult, which is why they offer these Saturday sessions. 

The process is simple. Parents call the main center to schedule a screening time and then bring their child in. It takes about 45 minutes to complete a full developmental screening. In addition to testing motor skills, cognitive skills, speech and language, the CDC staff will also check the child’s hearing and vision. 

Oftentimes, Rone said, children won’t receive another hearing screening after their initial newborn screening, so this is just an opportunity to check and double check to make sure the child is on track with their vision and hearing. 

“If, at any point during the screening, we notice that they’re failing their hearing or vision screening, we refer the parents to the CDC’s Pediatric Audiologist, Dr. Kalley Ellis or to an optometrist to review the screening,” Rone revealed. “And if the child shows a delay in any area of their development, that’s when the CDC steps in and provides support with early intervention services for free to families.” 

The idea that “No news is good news,” works in some cases but all parents would agree that the more you know about your child – the more you can learn and understand and help them to learn and understand more about themselves – the better. 

Rone acknowledges that, even after decades of services to children of all ages and backgrounds which prove the opposite, there is still somewhat of a stigma attached to the Child Development Center. 

“There is a certain stigma,” Rone stated. “People, still to this day, see the Child Development Center as only serving children with developmental delays. And that’s just not true. We serve all kiddos – with or without special needs.”

The Child Development Center is for everybody. It is for every child that is learning, and growing, and exploring who they are and what they are capable of. If you want to find out where your child is at, and where they could be, visit the Child Development Center website or schedule a Developmental Screening right here. 

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