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Identifying Developmental Delay in Children

Every child develops differently. Some may be quick to talk, but slow to walk. Some may enjoy interacting with their peers in a rough-and-tumble fashion while others may seek out more solitary activities. As a paraprofessional, it is helpful to know what is considered "typical development," how the developmental screening process works, and what types of screening tools are used to evaluate children.

What is considered "typical development"?

General developmental milestones can be used to monitor a child"s development. If a child differs from what is considered typical, it may be time to seek further assessment. The goal of early intervention and early childhood education is to provide children with the necessary supports and services to maximize their developmental potential. Informative resources on typical development include:

What is a "developmental screening"?

Developmental screenings are a formal way to have a child quickly assessed for the possibility of a developmental delay. If a delay is suspected, a full developmental assessment will be suggested. Developmental screenings can take place in a physician's office, through an early intervention provider, or through the local school district's Child Find efforts.

Child Find is a collaborative effort between local school districts, Child and Family Connections offices the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Department of Human Services. Its purpose is to locate and serve children needing early intervention services within the State of Illinois. Find the Child and Family Connection office that serves your specific county.

Screenings available in the Heartland Community College area include:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website provides:

What screening tools are commonly used during developmental screenings?

A summary of various screening tools is available from Bridges4Kids.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746

Email: johnna.darragh@heartland.edu