25 answers

Looking to Get My Child Tested for Possible Developmental Skills

I was wondering if anyone has had their child tested for physical or mental development. My husband is worried about my son, who was a preemie and still small for his age. 3rd percentile, he is isn't talking much and doesn't "run" like other kids his age. I think it will come with time with him but my husband is VERY worried, so I told him that maybe we should get him tested and see what professionals think. My son is very smart and I want to put my husband worries to rest. Please let me know who I can call or if you have had your child tested. My son is 22 months old. Thanks

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So What Happened?™

They (Early Intervention came yesterday and they were wonderful. There was four therapists who "played" with him. There was a speech, OT/PT Therapist and what they call a global therapist. They came to the conclusion that my son could benefit from speech therapy as well as a playgroup (OT/PT) setting. They also said that he may need some more supportive shoes-possibly orthopedic shoes, since my son feet turn in some when he "runs". They were wonderful and I would tell any parent who thinks that their child who may need some extra help to call them. It doesn't cost anything to have them tested and it is a fun time at your OWN home. Thanks to everyone who responded-you guys rock!

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My daughter goes to City Kids by Nothwest Hwy. and Nagel. The phone number is###-###-####. I went through a service (I don't remember the name, but they has her evaluated my a developmental and physical therapist. I'd try City Kids and they will tell you what step to take.
Hope it all works out.


If you have any doubts, just get him tested. The earlier they catch stuff the better.The March of Dimes does testing.

If you live in the city, UIC also has an early intervention program for both physical and mental development - they do a great job. Let me know if you want their contact info (I dont have it off the top of my head or I'd post it).

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I am surprised your pediatrician has not recommended an evaluation? Many preemies if they were really early receive an evaluation. My only advice would be to contact your ped to get a place to do the eval or contact your home school district so they can recommend a facility. You should definitely have it down NOW if you are worried.

A. K

The school district should be able to do it for you. Remember that a premie will be up to his premie peers not children how are older. I think it sounds like he is fine. The doctors may also have someone how can test your son. You instincts are best thought. Enjoy your son.

Hi A.,
In addition to all the helpful information you received already, I just wanted to add that we just finished with EI for our son at the end of April. It was the best experience I could have wanted for our son. At about 2.5 yrs of age, he didn't seem to be developing at the same rate as other kids his age with his verbal and fine motor skills. We were nervous about the outcome, but the therapists were wonderful as well as the pediatric specialists who helped us at Illinois Masonic where our son was officially diagnosed. I can't say enough good things about our experience. He was evaluated at about the 21 month range for verbal and motor skills. Once we had his vision tested, he was fitted with a pair of glasses and blew away our EI team with his improvement. Our son is now attending the Early Childhood program with our school district and is barely 6 months behind for his appropriate age skill levels for both verbal and motor skills. The ultimate goal is that he will be ready for kindergarten on time. I wish you all the luck with the program. My best advice is to ask as many questions as you can and try to keep up wih the tasks the therapists suggest each week. It's a great experience to share
with your child and husband. Good Luck! Judy

You are so wise to be looking into this. If you have any question at all about your child's development, this is an important step to take. As an early childhood educator, I wish evaulations were routine for all young children since if the evaluation uncovers anything, early intervention is often very effective. Screenings and early intervention services are available at no cost to parents. For children under 36 mos (like your son) any services are delivered in the home. Children over three years are often part of a classroom situation. Illinois' Early Intergvention Services are handled through Child and Family Connections (CFC). Why don't you start with a call to Laura Hansen who is a social work consultant for the program in the Chicago area: ###-###-####. Let me know if you need further information: ____@____.com there are things your son can be helped with, that's great. If it turns out he's on a normal developmental track, that's great news too, and peace of mind for both you and your husband.

K. M

Someone from Easter Seals came out once a week to work with my godson until he turned 3 and could attend a pre-school. i would try them. Good luck.

If you live in the city, UIC also has an early intervention program for both physical and mental development - they do a great job. Let me know if you want their contact info (I dont have it off the top of my head or I'd post it).

Call your local Easter SEals,your ped willh ave the number too. Not sure what county you are in. They will evaluate and see if they qualify for services. I feel this is an EXCELLENT program. Both my kids had speech come to the house 2 times a week. This is available until they are 3 then they get evaluated by Public School. The name of the program is Early Intervention. I truly believe this makes a HUGE difference. I learned a lot from the teachers on how to best play and learn with my kids and now they not only are no longer delayed but are far beyond!! Good Luck and don't sweat it it certainly can't hurt to have him evaluated!!
If you watn more info contact me and I can help.

Iam not sure where you live but most communities have a early intervention program that will test him for free if he is under 3. after 3 you need to ocntact your local school district.
DuPage Early intervention is ###-###-####
toll free 800-637-7181
e-mail me with any questions
B. B.

I sought a developmental evaluation for my middle child age 5. He appeared to not be advancing with motor skills like other children. My youngest had surpassed him on many milestones. They are 11 months apart. I saw Dr. Larry Desch at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. He had an evaluation and has now been recommended for occupational therapy.

Your pediatrician should be able to give you a referral but every child is eligible (up to 3) for free state evaluations (depending on your county, pediatrician can give you info). We did it just a month ago to err on side of caution and it was worth it. I highly recommend it. Good luck.

Depending on what county you live in you should go to your doctor and get a referral for developmental testing. Then they give you a number to call for you county and set up testing. If your child is under three all help will be given by the state and depending the level of help your child needs, some will be at your home and some will be group sessions. But the day that your child turns three they get turned over to your school district for early intervention programs. Usually they will just be transfered from the state to the school district, but sometimes the school district will make you do testing their too. The thing tha is nice is that the majority of early intervention for children is very inexpensive. My son just started in the school district and it was 30 dollars for the whole year and he goes four days a week to school by bus. But like i said at the beginning, the first place to start is with your doctor b/c most counties will not look at your child without a referral. Good Luck!!!

Children's Memorial also has an early intervention department to support all the preemies that come through their hospital. I'm sure its available to others in the community also.

AS the others have said, call your pediatrician and as for a referral. They will send you to Child and Family Connections or Easter Seals who will then connect you with the Early Intervention system. We are in Will county and my oldest (3.5) went through the program for Develeopmental, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. He's now receiving services through our public school system. We just had our youngest (2.5) tested this morning and he will be receiving Speech and Developemental therapy until he turns three and we will move up to the public school system. The earlier you get tested and get started with any needed therapy the faster they seem to "catch up".

My daughter goes to City Kids by Nothwest Hwy. and Nagel. The phone number is###-###-####. I went through a service (I don't remember the name, but they has her evaluated my a developmental and physical therapist. I'd try City Kids and they will tell you what step to take.
Hope it all works out.



You can contact the Early Intervention of Illinois. I am not sure where you live, but they have offices in Joliet that I know of for sure. I know they have them all over the state. They test kids up to the age of three for free. If you do qualify for any type of therapy, then they will meet with you to discuss the details. We used this for our daughter to get speech therapy, it's a state program. You can look them up on the internet in Illinois, under Early Intervention program.
Once children are over three, then they get tested by the school system.

Good luck!

If you have any doubts, just get him tested. The earlier they catch stuff the better.The March of Dimes does testing.


I just read all the other responses, and definitely agree that you should get your son evaluated. You DO NOT need a pediatrician's referral. The State of IL accepts referrals from parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, etc. It is a state-run program. If you can't find the number for child-family connections in your community, contact the state department for human services. The evaluation is free, and if your son qualifies, services will be provided at your home for a monthly fee, which is determined by your income, but includes ALL services under the early intervention umbrella, so if your son gets speech and OT once a week, but also needs a consultation or evaluation through a hospital or psychologist, etc., it will also be covered under the fee. They do bill your insurance first, but it doesn't change how much you pay each month. If your insurance picks up most of the cost, you can request a refund of the unused family fees you've paid about a year (I think) after your son leaves EI. My son was in EI, and now is being served by the school district since he turned 3. The earlier a child gets help, the better. I am surprised that the hospital and/or your pediatrician didn't tell you sooner. I get the feeling from meeting other parents that when a preemie is born, Early Intervention keeps a close eye on them to ensure they are developing appropriately. Good luck!

Hi A., I am not sure where you live but I live in Joliet and the Joliet Grade School district has screenings from 2 yrs old and up. It is only done during the school year and they offer it at many of the local elementary schools. I own a family daycare and all of my children are required to take the screening when they are 3 yrs old. Unless I feel there is something wrong, than I will ask the parents to get them checked earlier. It never hurts to screen, better late then never. I waited with my oldest dtr and it turned out she had a hearing impairment. So please go with your gut, even if it is your husbands gut. Good Luck.

I don't know if you live in Dupage Cty or Kane Cty, but here are a few numbers that you can call. They give free developmental screenings for ages birth to 3 yrs old. They also give you information and linkage to resources for children with developmental delays. Hope these help!

Dupage County- Child and Family Connections of Dupage ###-###-#### Their website is: www.pactinc.net

Kane County - Day One Network ###-###-#### or ###-###-####
Here is their website: www.dayonenetwork.org

Hi A., my daughter is a preemie too. The State of IL has a program that your insurance will cover if your son was born within a certain weight range. I am in Kendall Co. and we have someone who will be coming to our home once a month to check her development and do PT with her. ( I just brought her home from hospital). They are supposed to check on her until she starts school! Let me know what Co. you are in and then I can ask the rep who will be here Tues. for more info:)

You might want to contact your local school district and see if they offer any type of testing, I would also suggest speaking with your peditrician and see what they think about it. Best of luck :)

I don't know what area you live near, but Oak Leyden in Oak Park tests children for delays. I don't know their number, but I'm sure information will have it. I think they don't test children until they are 3, but you can check it out. Just a reminder, however many months your child was premature nyou need to subtract that from his age because that is how old he really is not 22 months. He will act and develop at the rate at which age he should be.

Hi A.,

I would talk to your pediatrician about your concerns and about early intervention programs available in your area. And when your son turns 3, you can have your son screened by your local school district. They are required by law to provide services to to those who qualify.

Good luck! I do know how you feel!

If you live in Mchenry County.. we often refer parents to "the pediatric place" for screenings. The intial visit is free and they will determine if your child needs further testing. Every county has programs and places for therapy. I'm sure your pediatrician can also refer you to them as well. Because your son was a preemie and if he does need some physical or speech therapy, it may be covered by your medical insurance. You may or may not need a referral depending on your insurance.

I think it would be a very good idea to have your child screened based on the things you posted. Early intervention is so wonderful; its such a wonderful gift for your child and will give you peace of mind if you have him screened.

Explain to your husband that if your son needed glasses, surely he would give him those or if he was a diabetic, he would give him medication. Speech and OT services are no different. I'm sure he would give your child whatever necessary to help him reach his unique potential. If you aren't familiar with these services, some people have a negative impression of them and may be fearful that there is something "wrong" with their child. Many children receive therapy for a wide variety of reasons. My daughter had several years of speech and hearing therapy when she was young and now she is college and is so successful!

I am a preschool teacher and work with 2 and 3 year olds. We have referred so many students for special services and the therapists do such a wonderful job with the children and families. I hope this is reassuring to you and your husband. Good Luck!

Your pediatrician should be able to give you a referral, but I believe you are entitled to an evaluation even without a referral according to state law and the Early Intervention Program. Contact Clearbrook/Child and Family Connections at ###-###-#### or check out clearbrook.org

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