Helping Your Kids Reach Their Full Potential: Developmental Screenings and Early Intervention

First 5 LA is working to make developmental and behavioral screening more accessible to families. We know that the earlier young children receive a screening, the better their chance of getting connected to early intervention services and support that can help them thrive!

To learn more about First 5 LA efforts to strengthen early identification and intervention, visit the First 5 LA Explains: Developmental Screenings & Early Interventions

What are Developmental Delays and Behavioral Concerns?

A developmental delay means a child is not meeting age-appropriate developmental milestones that most children can do at a certain age. There are a range of milestones throughout early childhood and, therefore, delays can emerge at different stages of development. Delays can occur in the following developmental areas

* Physical functions and abilities, fine and gross motor, vision and hearing: Reaching, rolling, crawling and walking

* Cognitive functions and abilities: Thinking, learning and problem solving

* Communication: Talking, listening and understanding

* Adaptive functions and abilities: Independently eating, dressing and toileting

* Social or emotional functions and abilities: Playing, feeling secure and happy

Parent and Caregiver Resources:

As a parent or caregiver you seek to provide your child with the best start in life. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child. The following links will help you learn more about your child’s development.

Learn the Signs. Act Early: The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program aims to change perceptions about the importance of identifying developmental concerns early and gives parents and professionals the tools to help.

Milestones Matter: Developmental milestones offer guidelines for the activities and behaviors you might expect to see as your child grows. Understanding these milestones can help you know that your child is on-track in his or her development.

Milestone Tracker Mobil App: You can track your child’s developmental milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with the CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists. Get tips from the CDC for encouraging a child’s development and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how a child is developing. Photos and videos in this CDC app also illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for a child easy and fun.

Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive! is a federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them. Resources include research-based developmental screening tools for families, early care and education providers, primary care providers, and more. > How to Talk to Your Doctor: A first step toward getting help for your child when you are concerned about his or her development is to talk with your child’s doctor.

Positive Parenting Tips: Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. The CDC’s Positive Parenting Tips offer a number of great tools to help you learn more about your child’s development at any age.

Well-Child Visit Planner: The Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative’s Well-Child Visit Planner is a free tool to help parents and caregivers plan their child’s upcoming well-child visits up to their sixth birthday. You can complete the tool online and create a visit guide to take to your doctor. The guide shows what you’ve identified as your family’s needs, concerns, and questions.

Regional Centers: Regional Centers provide and coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. Use this mapping tool to locate a Regional Center near you for information on an evaluation and services.

Family Resource Centers: Early Start Family Resource Centers (ESFRCS) provide parent to parent support, outreach, information and referral services to families of children with disabilities. All ESFRCS serve families of children birth to three and many have enhanced funding which allows them to serve families of children over the age of three and individuals with developmental disabilities.

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