BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Help Me Grow Kern County has officially launched.
A nationwide program, Help Me Grow has spread across the country as the data becomes clear regarding early identification and intervention: the earlier that developmental delays are identified, the easier it can be to address them and prepare children for entering school.
The American Association of Pediatricians recommends that children receive at least three screenings before they turn three years old.
Families can utilize Help Me Grow to complete a developmental screening for their child, between the ages of one month and six years. Parents can take the screenings at home, either online at HelpMeGrowKern.org, or by calling
2-1-1, where a developmental specialist can conduct the screenings over the phone.
Once a screening is completed, and if there are concerns, a service referral can be made by a Help Me Grow Care Coordinator.
Help Me Grow Kern County uses the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) to chart a child’s developmental journey.
“Many delays are easier to address prior to children reaching school age, where the nature of instruction can leave children constantly trying to catch up to their peers,” said First 5 Kern Executive Director Roland Maier. “Help Me Grow can help identify areas of concern for our kids and connect families to local services in order to set them on the right path to healthy development.”
The ASQ-3 is an assessment of a child’s communication and motor skills, while the ASQ-SE2 is a social, emotional and behavioral screening. Each questionnaire takes approximately 10-20 minutes to complete, and parents are encouraged to perform both assessments. The questionnaires are specific to the age of your child, and some of the questions involve activities for them to complete, such as stacking blocks, using scissors or drawing.
The assessments are available in English and Spanish.
Help Me Grow Kern County was developed through a Mental Health Services Act grant provided by Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services, and is a partnership with 2-1-1 Kern County.
Visit HelpMeGrowKern.org to read more about the assessments or to conduct an online screening with your children. There is further information about the program and a Q&A section for parents, as well.
About First 5 Kern
First 5 Kern was established in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on tobacco products. Revenues generated from the tobacco tax are used to fund local programs in the areas of health and wellness, early childcare and education, and parent education and support services that promote early childhood development for children ages zero to five.
For more information on First 5 Kern and its work, please log onto its website at www.First5Kern.org or follow @First5Kern on social media sites.