Is your preschooler struggling to learn?
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Children grow and develop at different rates, but most will reach several milestones between the ages 3 and 5. Underperforming in those areas could be a reason for concern over your child's rate of development.
There are a range of concerns that could potentially impact a child's learning ability, including speech/language impairment, cognitive impairment, autism spectrum disorder, emotional impairment, traumatic brain injury, hearing or visual impairment, early childhood developmental delay or a specific learning disability.
Developmental milestones can help identify when a child is struggling and provide direction to find out why. According to the CDC, "developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age."
Developmental milestones: How does your child fare?
Between the ages 3 and 4, most children will be able to recognize at least three colors or shapes and be able to focus on an activity for brief periods of time. They will also show interest in pretend-play and playing with other children.
Between ages 4 and 5, most children will be able to carry on simple two- to three-sentence conversations. They'll understand the concept of time and grasp the rules of basic preschool games. At this age, children should also be able to discuss basic facts about themselves and be able to take on simple tasks, such as counting or pointing out at least five objects, and be able to copy some capital letters.
A child who is not meeting these milestones may need special instruction to help prepare them for kindergarten.
Luckily, thanks to Michigan's Administrative Rules for Special Education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B, some children may be eligible for special education services at no cost to their parents. Multiple educational programs exist to provide support that ensures developmental progress and help kids learn skills to interact and play well with others.
Parents who are concerned that their preschooler may be struggling can reach out to Build Up Michigan. Build Up helps refer children who may be eligible for special education. Funded under the Individuals With Disabilities Act, Build Up provides awareness about services that are available for eligible 3- to 5-year-olds.
If you're concerned about your child's rate of development, you can get free help through the Michigan Department of Education's Office of Special Education.
Learn more today at buildupmi.org.
This story is provided and presented by our sponsor Build Up Michigan.