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Assessment and Inclusion Program
Who we are?
The Inclusion and Assessment Division is a Division within the Child Development Services Bureau. Our goal is that all children are ready to learn upon entering to kindergarten. To ensure that this goal is attained all school readiness children are screened using development screening tools.
What is Child Development?
Child development refers to the sequence of stages that children pass through as they get older. All children tend to go through these stages in the same order, but the timing that they go through them can vary. Development is different from "growth". Growth refers to a child getting bigger in size.
When we talk about normal development, we are talking about developing skills in each of the following domains:
- Gross motor: Using large groups of muscles to sit, stand, walk, run, etc., maintaining balance, and changing positions.
- Fine motor: using the small muscles in the hands to be able to eat, draw, dress, play, write, and do many other things.
- Language: Speaking, using and responding to body language and gestures, communicating, and understanding what others say.
- Cognitive: Thinking skills: including learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering.
- Social: Sense of self, being able to play with and get along with others, having relationships with family, friends, and teachers, cooperating, and responding to the feelings of others.
What is Developmental Screening
A developmental screening is a short, easy to administer procedure designed to determine whether a child is developing typically or if there may be some developmental concerns. It is usually a checklist or questionnaire that is completed based on the observations of an adult who has had adequate time to get to know the child, most often a parent or teacher.
Why is developmental screening important?
Screenings are important as they can provide early identification of areas where a child may be struggling or have special learning needs. When "Red Flags" on a developmental screen are raised, parents and teachers can work together to decide whether further diagnostic assessment is needed.
The Inclusion/Assessment Division staff can provide support for child care providers and parents to help them to understand the results of a developmental screen and how to navigate the process of making a referral for a more thorough evaluation. Through early detection and the provision of educational supports many types of learning delays can be minimized enabling the child to feel competent and successful as a learner.
What are developmental milestones?
Developmental milestones are the physical and behavioral signs that a child is developing and maturing. Rolling over, crawling, walking, talking and potty training are milestones. Showing that they understand mathematical concepts as they point to three cookies and count 1, 2, 3 as they touch each one is also considered developmental milestone. Developmental milestones provide important information regarding the child's development. The milestones are different for each age range. Pediatricians use milestones to check how a child is growing. Remember, each child is unique and there is a normal variation in how different children achieve milestones.
What to expect if your child has been screened and found to have a concern.
Children found to have concerns within domains listed above are observed in order to validate the area of concern. They receive an Individual Improvement Plan (IIP) which provides the teacher and the parent with research-based strategies to incorporate within the classroom, and for continued follow up within the child's home. Children who seem to have a special need are referred to Citrus Health Network or our Psychological Services doctoral intern for further evaluation and intervention. Once the child is referred, the Inclusion Assessment Division works very closely with the family to offer support, knowledge and guidance.
We believe in empowering the teachers as well as the parents with knowledge to better support the development and well being of children with special needs. We provide technical assistance using research-based strategies within the classroom for the child and for overall classroom management. We provide support, guidance and appropriate referrals to community resources throughout the placement process.
How we are improving to better serve the community?
The Inclusion and Assessment Division strives to expand the network of easily accessible community resources and services. That is why within the last year, we have partnered with Citrus Health Network to enhance our Inclusion Services. Since The Department of Human Services has been nationally accredited through the American Psychological Association for the last 8 years, we have had psychological doctoral interns available to our Inclusion and Assessment Division. These interns provide full psychological evaluations when needed, individual, family and group therapies. It is our belief that we can most effectively support the needs of children with disabilities and their families by providing ease of navigation through the system and its resources.
24 Hour Warm Line
The State of Florida has mandated that each region of the state provide Warm Line services for child care providers. In Miami-Dade County, the Warm-Line number is 305-260-1250. An Inclusion/Assessment Specialist will respond to concerned providers and parents offering individualized services including:
- Onsite Training and technical assistance in the areas of:
- Health concerns
- Special Needs
- Challenging Behaviors
- Teaching Strategies
- Adaptations: Environmental & Curriculum
- Referrals and Case Management
- Child Advocacy and Parental Support
Our goal is to provide excellent services and we welcome your feedback. In order for us to know how we are doing and how we may better serve you, please complete the attached Client Satisfaction Survey and return to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to Top Page Last Edited: Mon Jul 1, 2013 5:28:45 PM
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