Encompass offers free child development screening

January 25, 2011

By Staff

At what age should infants begin picking up objects? When should toddlers start toilet training?

Parents who have questions about the development of their infant, toddler, preschooler or kindergartner can bring their children to a free developmental screening from noon to 3:15 p.m. Jan. 29, at the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way.

Encompass, the children and family services organization serving Issaquah, Sammamish, the Snoqualmie Valley and the greater Eastside, will run the screening, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah.

“This is a prime opportunity to learn more about your child from the Encompass multidisciplinary team of therapists and other staff experts,” Neal Cumming, Encompass director of Pediatric Therapy Programs, said.

Bilingual staff will be available for Spanish-speaking families.

Encompass staff will screen children from ages 3 months to 5 years. Screenings include a short, 10-minute questionnaire that asks caregivers about their child’s progress in areas including motor skills, speech, and social and emotional skills. Therapists will be on site to observe children and hand out information about developmental stages.

“If a child is 7 months, we’ll do the 8-months’ screening,” Cumming said. “So, maybe the child won’t score on every item, but the parent will know what’s coming.”

Parents will receive results immediately, along with a list of recommendations about motor, speech, self-help, social and cognitive skills.

By the end of the screening, parents will know that children should be able to pick up objects in a pincer grasp at about 12 months and toddlers should be toilet trained between ages 2 and 3.

Visits to a child’s pediatrician are often spaced out, and the screening could catch a developmental delay in the meantime, speech therapist and clinical supervisor Kim Kanzler said.

“I think there’s a big push for early intervention right now to identify kids early,” Kanzler said. “At the 2-year check-up, a pediatrician might say, ‘Oh, let’s wait and watch it.’ They might not be able to identify it until 3, and at that time,” state-subsidized home visits are no longer available.

Go to www.encompassnw.org or call Cumming at 888-2777.

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One Response to “Encompass offers free child development screening”

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