About 13 percent of children in the United States ages 3 to 17 have a developmental or behavioral disability including autism, intellectual disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Fewer than half of children identified with developmental delays are identified before starting school. First 5 Ventura County funds two programs that help parents and physicians understand when a child’s early development may not be on track so children can get the early support that’s most effective.
Help Me Grow Ventura County is a collaborative with participation from First 5 of Ventura County, Early Start, Tri-Counties Regional Center, Ventura County Public Health and the Ventura County Health Care Agency. The mission is to work with healthcare providers to identify children with developmental delays as early as possible and connect them with appropriate services and interventions. By intervening early, when the brain is most pliable, some children can avoid special education needs later on.
In addition to Help Me Grow’s work with healthcare providers, First 5 Ventura County in partnership with Ventura County Public Health, offers developmental check-ups through our Neighborhoods for Learning (NfL). These simple, quick screenings can help parents understand key developmental milestones and know when extra help may be needed. Ask the NfL director how you can take advantage of this free resource.