Childhood development services are organizations designed to help children with behavioral issues, physiological problems, or education and literacy. Many childhood developmental agencies provide services free of charge or at a minimal cost for families that qualify. Most childhood development services are non-profit organizations run by volunteers, including pediatric experts. Infants and toddlers who require physical therapy may also benefit from childhood development services.
Services provided at childhood development centers may vary. Specialized programs may be designed for early childhood development, middle childhood development, or late childhood development. Many programs focus on intellectual development, while others are designed to promote physical and emotional well-being.
A child who comes to a childhood development center will typically be tested, and a complete history will be taken. A series of comprehensive assessments or evaluations may be conducted to provide a personalized program for the child. Childhood development services often implement programs conducted in the center or at the child's home or school.
Family counselors and child psychologists are often employed by childhood development services. Some volunteers or hired personnel include professional speech or language pathologists. These experts are trained to help children with speech impediments or issues relating to delayed speech and language problems. Many children with autism spectrum disorders or Down Syndrome benefit from speech and language therapy offered by childhood development services. Children with facial defects and structural abnormalities of the mouth or tongue may also be treated at a childhood developmental center.
Child development services may also help children with delayed motor skills or muscle weakness. A child who has difficulty with everyday tasks, such as feeding himself, dressing, or bathing, may work with an occupational therapist at a childhood developmental center. The pediatric occupational therapist is trained to recognize motor skill issues and to recommend a specialized program that can help the child.
Parents of children who are developmentally delayed often fail to recognize the cause. In many cases, childhood development services will identify the cause that has hindered an infant's progress. Services may also include evaluations and screenings for vision and hearing.
Most large cities offer childhood development services for every stage in a child's life. Many childhood developmental organizations accept insurance plans, so cost may not be a concern for many families. It is best to contact the agency directly for more details. Locating childhood development centers may be done online, and more information may be found at local libraries.