Helping your child reach their full potential.
As a parent or caregiver, you watch your child grow right before your eyes. But what happens if you have questions or concerns about your child’s development?
Help Me Grow WNY offers free developmental screenings and resources for children 0 through 5 years old.
Why developmental screenings are important for young children.
The first five years are critical for a child’s brain development. In fact, about 90% of brain growth happens by the time a child enters kindergarten.
While every child develops at a different rate – even siblings within the same family – there are important milestones to look out for. Developmental milestones are skills that a child is expected to gain by a certain age. The sooner your family can recognize a potential delay, the sooner your child can get the resources and help they need to keep their development on track.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child be screened for general development at 9, 18, and 30 months.
For more information on free developmental screenings and resources, call or text Help Me Grow WNY at 716-760-GROW.
For parents interested in completing a free online developmental screening:
Developmental milestones to look out for:
How Ages & Stages Questionnaires® works.
Help Me Grow WNY offers free developmental screenings using Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ®). As a parent or caregiver, you can answer a few questions about how your child learns, talks, moves, and socializes with others. Taking the questionnaire is free, quick, and confidential.
There are two sets of questionnaires that evaluate different areas of your child’s development:
> ASQ®-3 looks at critical areas of early development
> ASQ®:SE-2 focuses on social-emotional development
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires® are proven screening tools approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, so you can trust that your child is getting the best attention possible. Translation services are available, and we do not share your information with schools or social services without your permission.
If you have questions or prefer to complete the questionnaire over the phone, call or text the Help Me Grow WNY helpline at 716-760-GROW, or fill out the form below to request to be contacted by a Help Me Grow WNY coordinator.
What happens next?
After you complete the questionnaire, a Help Me Grow WNY staff member will follow up with you within a few days to review the results and answer questions.
> If the screening shows that your child’s development is on track with their milestones, there’s nothing else you need to do now – and you can re-screen in six months.
> If the screening shows that your child may have a delay, Help Me Grow WNY can recommend at-home activities to promote healthy development. We can also provide a referral for further evaluation by a child development professional. Please note: the ASQ is not used to diagnose a developmental delay or autism.
Help Me Grow WNY can share the questionnaire results with your child’s doctor, school, or childcare provider. This allows everyone to be on the same page and work together in supporting your child’s development. Sharing information is optional and will only be done with your permission.
Requesting school services
New York State offers Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education for children at high risk of developmental delays or with a diagnosed developmental disability. The results of your ASQ screening may be requested in order to qualify for services.
For help contacting your county or school district for an evaluation, call Help Me Grow WNY at 716-760-GROW.
Bright By Text
Bright by Text is a free text message service that shares helpful tips, activities, and events based on your child’s age. The information comes from trusted partners like PBS and Sesame Street. You can sign up to receive messages in English or Español.
Parents can text HMG to 274448, or click on this link for English or this link for Spanish.
CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early.
The CDC’s Learn the Signs, Act Early provides even more free tools and resources to help track your child’s milestones. To access these tools and resources on the CDC’s website, click here.