SCREENING — Occupational Therapist Sam Scheel is one of the therapists who will take participants through different stations to check their developmental milestones during Bona Vista’s Developmental Screening on Feb. 19. Call 765-454-5340 to schedule an appointment for the free screening for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age.

It’s finally February! Whew. We made it. January seemed like it lasted about 97 days, but here we are.

Most of our February is spent preparing for March, which is Disability Awareness Month nationally. However, there is one event that we definitely don’t want you to miss, and it’s coming up quick on Feb. 19. That is the date of our first developmental screening of the year.

The United Way serving Howard and Tipton counties partially funds the developmental screenings through our Positive Results for Kids pediatric therapy program. Through their funding, we are able to provide these screenings free of charge for children birth to 5 years of age in our community. There, literally, is no catch when we tell you it’s free. We could use other words to describe the screening like complimentary or gratis or at no cost or on the house, but you get the idea. They are literally free of charge.

Who should attend one of these screenings?

• First-time parents of a child who didn’t come with an instruction manual.

• Parents of multiple children, and one isn’t doing the things that the others did at their age.

• Parents of a child who isn’t saying several words by the age of 2.

• Parents of a child who isn’t pulling itself up to stand by 18 months.

• Or any parent who has any questions about their child’s development at all and just wants some peace of mind.

How do the screenings work?

You sign your child up by calling our Intake Coordinator Brooklyn Dugdale at 765-454-5340. Spots are limited, so call soon. Then, you bring them in at the scheduled time to get evaluated by licensed therapists to see if your child is developing appropriately for their age, to get information vitally important to your child’s development, and walk out with a piece of mind that parents would pay high dollar for!

Over the course of an hour assessment, therapists screen fine motor skills, gross motor skills, cognitive skills, language skills, self-help skills and social skills. Then, a registered nurse screens their vision. They will give you direction, validation, and support. They let you know that everything is going to be OK and will be with you every step of the way.

If the Feb. 19 date doesn’t work for you, we do offer mini-developmental screenings every Wednesday by appointment at our 1220 E. Laguna St. location. The mini-screenings check for your child’s development in the areas of physical and occupational therapy, or more specifically, gross and fine motor skills. In addition, we will have two other Developmental Screening dates this year: Aug. 19 and Oct. 14. It’s never too early to get on the calendar!

To make an appointment for a Wednesday screening or for our full screening on Feb. 19, call Dugdale at 765-454-5340.