If you suspect that your child has a speech or other developmental delay, it is important to speak to your primary care provider. If your child does have a delay, you are your child’s best advocate. Pediatrix encourages parents to obtain services for their delayed child. Contact your local school district for information about services to benefit your child. Help is available! Special Needs/ Developmental Preschool can begin with children as young as 2 1/2 years old, while Headstart works with children as young as 4 years old.
To obtain services:
1. Determine the appropriate school district based on your residence.
2. Contact the district to begin services. Determining eligibility for Developmental Preschool can take several months, so begin when your child is about 2 1/2 years old. Headstart typically uses telephone screenings. The more documentation you have to support your child’s need for services the better. Please ask a Pediatrix staff member for a records release form to receive copies of any office visits or evaluations that your child has had.
3. If your child is determined to be eligible for services, future meetings may be scheduled. Your child may need an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which outlines your child’s educational goals and services needed.
4. The school is required to provide transportation to and from the destination of your choice (home or daycare) as long as it is within the district boundaries.
We understand that you may hesitate to place a delayed child in school as early as stated above. We urge you to look at your local school’s program to see if it could benefit your child. In addition to the free services your child could receive, he or she will benefit from interacting with other children. Moreover, structured activities can help improve your child’s attention span, which can help relieve your stress and worry.
YOU CAN BE YOUR CHILD’S BEST ADVOCATE!
Additional information is available at www.raisingspecialkids.org