Partnership Works with Local Medical Practice
September 10, 2013
Partnership ensures more kids are ready for school
Since June 2012, Smart Beginnings of Martinsville Henry County and the Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness have built a unique partnership designed to screen more young children in our community for potential developmental delays. Smart Beginnings Services Coordinator Brenda Jordan has used the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) screening tool since 2010 as a thorough check of a child’s development, from communication and gross motor skills to social and emotional development, and problem solving skills.
Jordan and Ruth Anne Collins, an early childhood health coach with the MHC Coalition, partnered to bring the screenings to places where at-risk families with young children already gather: during WIC Clinic visits at the Health Department, at preschool well-child check-ups at Bassett Family Practice, and at a number of area pediatricians’ offices. The ASQ can be used for children as young as two months up to five years old.
“This is a kind of first line of defense, a very thorough screening tool to make sure we can catch delays and refer families for appropriate help,” says Collins.
“The partnership has allowed us to identify potential development delays, with one out of every three children referred for additional professional evaluation,” Jordan says. Most of their referrals are for speech and communication delays, she says. A smaller number are for social and emotional delays.