By Casey L. Peacock: Special to the PNT
Rural schools in the Roosevelt County will be holding Child Find Clinics to help screen children from birth to 5 years for any developmental delays.
The clinics are free of charge and provide help for parents who may have concerns about their child’s development.
The clinics will do a series of tests on each child to help determine where they are in their development. Some of the areas the child will be tested in include: Cognitive and thinking skills, speech and language skills and large and fine motor skills.
Other areas that will be tested are vision and hearing, which will be administered by the school nurse. The Department of Health will also be on-site to conduct nutritional screenings and to provide nutritional information. They will also check to see if a child’s shot records are up-to-date.
Eastern New Mexico Rehabilitative Services for the Handicapped and Children’s Medical Services will also be at the clinics to provide assistance to those families who may need there services.
“(The clinics) basically screen for anything that might be a delay for little ones,” Patti Harrelson, Director of Regional Education Center 6 said.
The clinics are held in the spring or fall of each year to give parents a chance to assess what needs their child may have.
If a child has a developmental delay, such as a speech or hearing problem, they will be placed in the school’s preschool program. These programs are designed to help the child succeed and advance for their age.
Other aspects of the preschool program are teaching a child social skills. They are put in a setting that helps them to learn many different things, such as standing in line, tying their shoes or sitting quietly.
“Schools pick up the cost and allow everybody to go,” Harrelson said.
Schools participating in the Child Find Clinics include: Dora, Elida, Floyd, Fort Sumner, Grady, House, Logan, Melrose, San Jon and Texico.
Patti Mohon, of Dora Schools encourages parents to bring their child even if they believe there are no delays in their development.
“There is room in the program for children even if they do not have any delays. They are referred to as peer models,” Mohon said.
Another part of the program that will be offered at the Floyd Child Find Clinic will be the police department. They will be on hand to fingerprint the children and give them a chance to meet the officers and let the children know they are not to be afraid of them.
For more information about the upcoming Child Find Clinics, contact the Regional Education Center E6 at 562-4455, or call your local school.