Did you know that 1 in 10 children in Pennsylvania may experience some form of developmental delay?
Has your child been screened for developmental delays? A developmental delay may exist in a child’s physical or mental growth. Early detection with associated Early Intervention support can make an enormous impact in the life of a child with developmental delays. Their ability to accomplish academic and physical milestones as well as engage with other children are just some of the important long term advantages of early detection and treatment.
How do I have my child screened for developmental delays?
Developmental Screening are covered by most major health insurances as part of your child’s wellness visits, although there may be a co-pay. While the state of PA does not mandate Developmental Screenings, children from birth through age 3 enrolled in the commonwealth’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicare are eligible to receive the screenings at no charge.
Unfortunately, since the screenings are not mandated, in Pennsylvania, it is up to the child’s caregiver to be informed and request a screening when their child is being seen by the doctor. That means that a parent might have to ask for a screening if their child hasn’t had one.
So what is involved in a developmental screening?
When visiting your doctor or other health care provider, a request for a developmental screening is a simple process. The screening is simply a series of questions to check for the presence of delays. A parent or caregiver may be asked about a child’s activities or interactions with others such as:
- Does your child look at you when calling his/her name?
- Does your child try to repeat words that you say?
- Is your child able to walk on their own?
- Is your child interested in playing and interacting with other children?
Depending on the responses to questions such as these, further exploration and evaluation may be recommended depending on age- specific developmental milestones.
If my child has an evaluation and needs help, then what?
An evaluation would be performed by a health care professional to further assess the potential challenges that your child might be facing, to be able to give parents options for treatment. It is important to remember that there are a number of supports and tools that can help your child if in fact he or she has developmental delays. Early intervention provides valuable supports for children and can range from physical therapy to occupational therapy and/or speech therapy dependent on the child’s needs.
Early detection is essential.
Identifying a developmental delay and most importantly taking advantage of Early Intervention support can dramatically impact a child’s future. Ensure your child gets the help they may need as soon as possible. If your child is not currently enrolled in CHIP, click on this link to see if you are financially eligible. Enroll in CHIP to ensure that your child has every opportunity to grow and develop to reach their full potential.
Learn more about teli’s Early Intervention services!