How To Spot Delays As Quickly As Possible
Each year, nearly 1.5 million children in the U.S. enter kindergarten with learning or health issues that have been missed.
I learned this staggering fact when speaking with experts from Easter Seals, which provides education, outreach, and advocacy to families affected by autism and other disabilities. It was startling to think of all of the children with unidentified challenges, and upsetting to know that with the right support, many of them could have caught up and entered school needing fewer services, or none at all. It’s a proven fact that early intervention is critical to strengthen a child’s intellectual abilities and communication and social skills.
This is why Easter Seals has created a new campaign called Make the First Five Count. Its goal is to guarantee that all children have access to early detection of possible delays and disabilities as well as access to services. A big part of the program’s success, of course, is based upon proper funding. Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) offers all families the possibility of free or lower-cost early intervention services, but the program has never had enough money to accomplish this. Take a minute to sign this petition urging your representatives and senators to block cuts to funding Part C—and to push for increasing the money that goes toward these services.
And on a more immediate level, if you want your child evaluated for any kind of health or emotional issue, speak to your pediatrician right away. (Not even sure whether your child should be evaluated? Easter Seals has provided a very clear breakdown of potential red flags here.) If you don’t have access to a pediatrician or specialist, call Easter Seals directly at 800-221-6827. They will happily walk you through the process of getting help. In fact, they estimate that they field well over 2,000 such requests each month. They want to hear from you.Add a Comment