Off on the right start

By Denise Jackson

March 28, 2013 Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 11:11 PM CDT

PEORIA,IL--Educators say early detection of speech or hearing impediments is critical to a child's success in school. But targeting such problems sometimes could go unnoticed in a busy family household. Peoria's District 150 is collaborating with one daycare in an attempt to fix the problem.

Some youngsters at Myah's Two Christian Learning center hopped aboard District 150's Mobile Parent Resource Center Thursday morning for screening of their developmental skills. The parents of the youngsters did not have to be present because the bus came to the daycare center.

"Sometimes because of parents work schedules they are not able to get to us. But we do have parent and families who have questions or concerns about their child's development and that's what our screening process is designed to provide information about," said District 150 Early Childhood Facilitator Darla Siwicke.

Eight preschoolers from Myah's daycare participated in the testing. Director Lynne Costic says teachers at the facility were able to help select students they thought might benefit from the screening.

"Every 6 months you kind of need to take a look at where the child is developmentally. There are milestones that they should be reaching according to doctors, psychiatrists, teachers," she said.

Collaborations on such project with District 150 and the daycare helps identify areas where children may need further evaluation and individualized education plans. The educators saying catching developmental problems early on at the preschool level is important.

"A lot of the developmental skills are the foundation that you need to build your reading your math skills," said District 150 Educator Barb Honings.

They want to make sure that learning at the preschool level gets them off to a successful start in their educational careers.

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