Screenings vital to early development

Published 12:09 am Friday, May 23, 2014

The month of May is designated to promote and celebrate hearing and speech nationwide. The Natchez-Adams School District supports May as Better Hearing and Speech Month by offering free developmental and speech screenings for all children ages 3 to 5 years old who reside in Adams County.

NASD actively participates with Child Find in conjunction with the Mississippi State Policies Regarding Children with Disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Child Find is a charge every Mississippi school district has to identify, locate and evaluate children who may be in need of special education and related services.

Early identification and treatment of developmental delays in adaptive (self-help), personal-social, gross and fine motor, receptive and expressive language, cognitive skill and speech intelligibility can lead to success academically.

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It is estimated that one of every 10 Americans is affected by developmental or communication disorders.

Examples of skills needed at 3 years old are:

4Adaptive (self-help): feeds self with spoon or fork without assistance, turns faucet on and off.

4Personal-social: tells age, responds to initial greeting by an adult.

4Gross motor: stands on one foot for one second, walks on a line.

4Fine motor: closes fist and wiggles thumb, builds a tower with blocks.

4Receptive language: points to 10 pictures of common objects, answers one question regarding physical needs.

4Expressive language: names eight pictures of common objects, asks who, what, when, where and how questions.

4Cognition: counts by rote to three, points to big and little objects.

4Speech: correctly produces p, b, m, w, h, n and f, displays appropriate voice and fluency, (stuttering) abilities.

As part of Child Find, the speech-language pathologists of NASD will provide developmental and speech screenings at AJFC Thompson Head Start through June 5.

Children who will be 3 years old by Aug. 1, may be screened by appointment only.

For those children who plan to attend Head Start, only those who did not attend during the 2013-14 school year need to be screened.

Parents will be contacted by telephone to schedule appointments.

AJFC Thompson Head Start is located at 1038 N. Union St. The phone number is 601-445-8878. Registration to attend Head Start is open now.

For those children who plan to attend any Adams County day care or preschool, appointments can be made by calling the NASD Special Services department at 601-445-2843.

NASD supports May is Better Hearing & Speech Month and early intervention. Skills gained between the ages of 3 and 5 years proved the basis for a lifetime of learning skills.

If your child plans to attend any preschool, day care, kindergarten or Head Start program in Adams County, this screening service is provided free of charge.

Every child in Adams County has the right to excellence. Join the speech-language pathologists of NASD in the celebration of May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, by making an appointment for your child’s screening. We are here to celebrate and serve the children of Adams County.


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