Easter Seals Hawaii (ESH) is providing a free, online tool  in helping parents determine if their children are at risk for a developmental delay before their child turns five-years-old. The screening is called the “Ages and Stages Questionnaire,” which is part of Easter Seals Hawaii’s call to action for Hawaii’s families to Make the First Five Count.

ESH believes that the first five years of life are significant because they are the first years of learning that shape a keiki’s future. Yet every year, more than one million children with unidentified delays such as speech delays, learning delays, signs of autism or motor delays, enter school that put them behind their peers and have a long term effect on their ability to meet their full potential.

“The Easter Seals Make the First Five Count campaign aligns perfectly with Hawaii’s ‘Taking Action for Hawaii’s Children’ strategy,” says ESH CEO, Chris Blanchard.  “Both programs focus on providing our keiki early learning opportunities. Make the First Five Count emphasizes getting children the support they need before age five, in order to provide them the skills they need to reach their potential.” ESH is currently working community providers to implement this screening tool and offer it to concerned parents and caregivers.

Traditionally used by clinicians, therapists, professionals and educators, Brookes Publishing’s Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is now available to parents and caregivers on Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count website (www.makethefirstfivecount.org) to monitor child development and identify possible delays so that any concerns can be readily addressed to make sure they are on track and ready to enter school.

More on the web at www.eastersealshawaii.org

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