At 2 months old, your baby is smiling at the proud parents and siblings who beam at him.
At 4 months, he’s babbling and reaching out with one dimpled hand for the toy his mom dangles over him.
At 6 months, he likes to play with others, especially his dad and mom.
At 9 months, he is pointing at things and thinks peek a boo is the most hilarious game ever created.
At 12 months, he’s waving bye-bye and has a vocabulary that includes “mama,” “dada,” and “uh-oh.”
At 18 months, he can identify body parts and use a spoon.
At 24 months, he’s excited to see other children and might be revealing a bit of a defiant streak as he becomes more independent.
At 36 months, he shows concern when his friend cries and is starting to play make believe.
This list is by no means extensive, but it does include a few milestones typical of children as they grow and develop. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a checklist parents can use to monitor their child’s growth up to age 5, but the best way to ensure your child is growing and developing healthily is to check in regularly with a primary care provider.
Developmental screenings, which your provider might also call a well-child check, help doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners determine whether your child is growing and developing according to typical milestones. It might seem like a lot of visits in three years, but think about how much an infant changes over the course of 36 months. Bringing in your child for these regular visits helps providers monitor your child’s growth.
If a child has a developmental delay, identifying the problem as early as possible and beginning the appropriate intervention is critical. Early intervention goes a long way toward improving a child’s development, which will help him grow up Outback Strong and help prepare him for school. Children with developmental disabilities often aren’t identified until they’re in school, which can hinder their learning and socialization skills. Sometimes adults assume developmental disabilities are rare, but in reality, 1 in 6 U.S. children experiences a developmental disability or delay.
We know parenting is hard. We know “hard” is an understatement. We also know that the frequent trips to the doctor’s office can be at best inconvenient and at worst a real hardship. Here are a few things to know:
Diapers: All parents whose child completes a developmental screening with a Lake County doctor or midlevel provider receive a package of diapers in the appropriate size. In Christmas Valley, patients also receive a gas card. Diapers and gas cards are provided through a grant from Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization.
Insurance: Private companies and Oregon Health Plan all cover developmental screenings. If you haven’t signed up for OHP, Michaela Utley can help you. Email her or call (541) 947-6045.
Where to go: Developmental screenings are offered at four locations across Lake County.