Child Development

What Is Child Development?
A child’s growth is more than just physical. Children grow, develop, and learn throughout their lives, starting at birth. A child’s development can be followed by how they play, learn, speak, and behave.


What Is A Developmental Delay? Will My Child Just Grow Out Of It?
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones.  Children reach milestones in playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving (crawling, walking, etc.).  A developmental delay is when your child does not reach these milestones at the same time as other children the same age. If your child is not developing properly, there are things you can do that may help. Most of the time, a developmental problem is not something your child will “grow out of” on his or her own.  But with help, your child could reach his or her full potential! 

What Is Developmental Screening?
Doctors and nurses use developmental screening to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have problems. Your child’s doctor may ask you questions or talk and play with your child during an exam to see how he or she learns, speaks, behaves, and moves. Since there is no lab or blood test to tell if your child may have a delay, the developmental screening will help tell if your child needs to see a specialist.

Why Is Developmental Screening Important?
In the United States, 1 out of 6 children have a developmental or behavioral disability or have delays in language or other areas. But, less than half of children with problems are identified before starting school. During this time, the child could have received help for these problems and may even have entered school more ready to learn.

Where Can A Developmental Screening Be Done For A Child In Douglas County?
1. Ask your child’s doctor about a developmental screening.
2. Public Health Nurses can also help you follow your child’s development.  
  • A developmental screening tool called Ages and Stages Questionnaire and Ages and Stages Social-Emotional Questionnaire can be mailed to you or a home visit can be done (both at no charge) to do the screening.  
  • Public Health Nurses can also provide a list of activities that you can do with your child to help promote his or her development.  
  • For more information, call 715-395-1304.
3. To do a free screening online go to: Easter Seals Make the First Five Count

How Can I Help My Child's Development?
Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest are very important for children’s health and development. Providing a safe and loving home and spending time with your child – playing, singing, reading, and even just talking – can also make a big difference in his or her development.