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Accessing Services

"If you have concerns about your child's development, ask your pediatrician for a developmental assessment. We often get children later than we should because this is delayed, either because the parent is fearful or the pediatrician has underestimated the parents concern. Early Intervention is absolutely the way to go; children whose problems are addressed early generally do better. You only need a 25% delay in one area of development, such as speech delay, to qualify for services. Having an assessment takes a lot of stress off the parent; if he's fine, then you'll know that and if he has a delay, he'll get Early Intervention. Either way, it enables you to move forward."

- Deborah Uram, MS, CCC, Director of Special Programs, Early Learning Institute

"I recommend that parents keep a journal of their child's medical history. Keep all your information in it: diagnoses, doctor's appointments, surgeries and medications the child is taking. Parents often have to take the child to many specialists and it's helpful to have that information organized and in one place. It makes accurate information available to everyone involved in the child's care, and that means better care."

- Kim Reblock, RN, BSN, Hospital Director, Transitional Infant Care, The Children's Home of Pittsburgh

"Sometimes a diagnosis is slow in coming, but having one makes a huge difference because it gives you an avenue for action. Once you know what you're dealing with, you can find services, books and online information, or join a support group and find other parents. Not knowing what is wrong, versus knowing and being able to go forward from there, is like night and day. Not knowing what's wrong is far more frightening."

- Julie Hladio, Family Advisor, Alliance for Infants, parent of special needs child

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