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Free early childhood developmental skills screening held in Pittsburg

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Early developmental skills are important for children and not having them could throw them off track.  Some of the skills needed for children heading to kindergarten include knowing how to behave in classrooms and being social with classmates.

On Friday a free screening was offered at the Family Resource Center in Pittsburg to reassure parents of their children's progress.

"He's very, very active and we wanted to make sure that's normal for his age group of how active he really is and you know his behavior around other kids and making sure that he's learning the fundamentals he's suppose to have," says mother Jennifer Hopper.

Hopper brought her three year old son, Emery, to the screening to make sure he's on the right path of learning.

The free screenings were done in hopes of making parents more aware of their children's progress before the kids head into the classroom.

"We look at five areas of development," says psychologist Jennifer Vaughn.  "We do hearing and vision screening.  We do motor adaptive skills, cognitive skills, social skills, and speech and language skills.  And there are expectations at every level as to, developmentally, what kids should be doing."

The screenings are different than evaluations that are performed typically in elementary school.  Typical evaluations in school include hearing and eye tests, but Vaughn says the behavioral interactions are just as important.

"We just try to engage the children in play and get as much information as we can through play," says Vaughn.

For parents like Hopper, having her son screened early on saves time in the future.

"I think it's important to have it, that way we know where our kids are standing at this time so if they do need the help later on we can start at an earlier start," says Hopper.

The screenings are strictly indicators if further action needs to be taken.  They are not used to diagnose any sort of behavioral or mental issues in children.

As for Emery, he is progressing fine and is on the right track in all of his developmental skills.

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