Early detection is the best prevention

By: - August 29, 2005 4:43 am

Durham Herald Sun
By Michele Rivest and Marsha Basloe

Editor’s note: This is the 10th in our yearlong series of monthly columns about important issues that affect young children — birth to age 5 — and their families. As the executive directors of Durham’s Partnership for Children and the Orange County Partnership for Young Children, we are pleased to have the opportunity to share this information with The Herald Sun’s readers as part of our celebration of Smart Start’s 10th anniversary.

What new parent hasn’t wondered about their child’s development? It’s only natural to wonder why your child isn’t walking as early as your first child or started to speak later than other children his age. Typically, these differences are just "normal" since most children’s physical development and language skills will vary. But if you feel that your baby or child is developing at a different pace or in a different way, it is best to seek advice from your doctor or health care professional. It’s possible that your child may have a developmental delay or disability. The earlier this problem is identified, the more quickly it can be addressed and more serious problems prevented.

Early intervention problems aren’t always apparent at birth, although some children are born with a specific birth defect or handicap. Some children who are born with low birth weight and premature may have developmental problems. Still, other children may be born with good health but develop speech and language or physical difficulties later in life. Regardless of timing, a family of a young child with special needs may often feel disappointment, added stress and helplessness. (more…)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066