Horizons cares about your child's development

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Community resources

For the past several weeks, we have highlighted six programs that support women's health and newborn care. It is my hope that through these programs, the continued health of this very vibrant part of Colorado will continue to grow. The programs that we have highlighted include Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Public Health Programs, Yampa Valley Autism Program, Newborn Network, First Impressions of Routt County, Steamboat Mental Health/SEED Project, and, this week, Horizons Specialized Services. We all know how difficult it is to have good insurance and access to care, what we may not know is how many support programs are available for families in Routt and Moffat Counties. I hope you have enjoyed and learned from this series.

- James M. Summers, DO/MS, FACOG, Director of Inpatient Obstetrical Services, Yampa Valley Medical Center

— Every parent wonders at one time or another, "Is my baby developing normally; is it OK for a 14-month-old to not be walking; or a 2-year-old to not be saying any understand-able words?" "What about all the recent press about autism - do I need to be worried?"

These are all valid concerns, and at Horizons Children's Services, we strive to understand your personal issues and put your mind at ease.

As part of an ongoing statewide search to identify children with special needs, we do child-find screenings year-round. Any time a parent, physician, childcare provider or friend has a concern about a child, they can give Horizons a call and we will set up a time to screen him or her. We are able to screen for vision, hearing, movement, speech and social/emotional delays. If a child is found eligible for our services, we have to, by law, have an assessment completed and a plan in place within 45 days. Most of our services are free to the client and provided in the home because that is usually where the child and family are most comfortable. We also sponsor weekly playgroups to give the therapists some extra time to see the child.

At Horizons Child and Family Services, we would like to see every child screened before they are three. Evidence strongly supports that early intervention really works. Our goal is to have every child school-ready by kindergarten and to help those with more serious special needs develop to their highest potential.

In Routt and Moffat counties we have great community-wide screenings in the spring of each year. They are sponsored by the BOCES preschools in Steamboat, Hayden and Oak Creek and the Moffat School District in Craig. They provide a wonderful all-round developmental screen for any child 3 months to 5 years. I would like to encourage all parents to take advantage of this free screen to get a good look at how their children are doing developmentally.

At Horizons, we really enjoy getting to know our families and being a small part of creating happy, healthy children in our community. For information on any of our programs, call the Horizons Children's office at 871-8558.

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