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Take advantage of this special month

The month of May is designated to promote and celebrate hearing and speech skills nationwide.

The Natchez-Adams School District supports May as Better Hearing and Speech Month by offering free developmental and speech screenings for all children age three to five years who reside in Adams County. Early identification and treatment of developmental delays in adaptive (self-help), personal-social, gross and fine motor, receptive and expressive language, cognitive skills and speech intelligibility can lead to success academically.

Adaptive skills needed by age three years include feeding self with a fork or spoon independently and putting toys away when asked. Social skills are responding appropriately to familiar and unfamiliar people. At age three, children are expected to understand the prepositions on and out and use three to four words to express themselves. A gross motor skill needed is the ability to run ten feet without falling. A fine motor skill needed is scribbling lines and circles. Cognitive skills are finding an object hidden under one of two cups and nesting objects inside one another. By age three years, a child should correctly produce the sounds p, b, m, h, w, n, and f.

Registration for children who will be five years old on or before Sept. 1 is open now at the NASD’s three elementary schools; McLaurin, Frazier, and West. Parents should bring the child’s original birth certificate, social security card, two proofs of address and Form 121 to adequately register for school. Form 121 is your child’s immunization record and must be obtained from your child’s physician or the Adams County Health Department. Developmental and speech screenings are available by appointment only at each school. Screenings are not necessary for those children who have been screened at another school.

Children who will be three years old by Sept. 1, 2013, must be screened before attending preschool at AJFC Thompson Head Start. Registration is open at Head Start now. Only children who have not attended Head Start during the 2012-2013 school year need screening. Screenings will be conducted May 21-June 21 at Head Start by appointment. Parents of first-year students at Head Start are contacted by phone to schedule appointments. Call 601-445-2843 for further information or to make an appointment for your preschool child.

NASD supports early intervention and May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Skills gained between the ages of three and five years provide the basis for academic excellence. If your child plans to attend any preschool, day care, or kindergarten in Adams County, mark your calendars now for a free developmental/speech screening for the 2013-2014 school term. Every child in Adams County deserves individual success. Join the NASD speech pathologists as we celebrate May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Our service to the children of Adams County is our celebration!

Ruth Anderson is the lead speech language pathologist at the Natchez-Adams School District.