We started this program in April. It is a program providing parents with child development knowledge and parenting support. In other words, a lady who used to work as a school psychologist visits our house every 6 to 8 weeks. We go over what Mason is doing, things we are working on, and new ideas for things to do. This program is geared to help parents understand the child's development at different stages. The program offers different screenings for your child yearly...like hearing, visual, and developmental. I think this is great because a lot of times, children are tested at birth for hearing problems but then they are not tested again until school aged. Parents as Teachers offer music classes, playgroups, and other activities for you and your child to attend. I know some of the counties offer free sign language classes. Each visit we receive a free book from a grant from Target. (We love books!)...The lady gives me different handouts on items I should begin to work with Mason on or papers just on different topics like dental health. and all of this is FREE. This program is funded through your local school system. It is not a need based program or anything like that. It is a program to get parents involved in learning about their child's developmental stages and the importance of teaching your children...all to provide a great foundation to increase success in school and life.
We had our first developmental screening yesterday. I was a very proud mommy. Mason was considered premature, so when determining the results they usually place preemies a month behind. Our little guy was knocking their socks off! He was above average on the "normal" charts! I was very impressed with some of the items he could do after watching the lady. The majority of it we had worked on here at home or through Kindermusik & My Gym. This program just encourages me. I can say Mason is doing this or that, or that Mason hasn't done this or that yet...and as parents we wonder if we are doing the right stuff...then as I see the results like yesterday, it just encourages me to do more.
I am a firm believer that these years are crucial time for development....and as parents we need to be active in this time. I know that I had thoughts of when Mason gets older I will work with him on this or that...but I was wrong it starts at birth (or sooner!) I can get all technical...for example (in simple terms)...our brain has parts that open and close during these years...if they are not stimulated, those parts may be closed for good. It is sooo rewarding to watch Mason learn...he just takes in everything. Ah, just so amazing!!!
Just as this program encourages me, I want to encourage you. Be active in your child's life. Learn new things. As a parent, we can't stop learning either. Be creative...find new stimulating activities for your child...it doesn't have to cost money. Take time each day. Love and encourage.