Evans City Rotary to offer free child screenings
Eagle Staff Writer
April 22, 2014
EVANS CITY — The Evans City Rotary Club will offer parents free development checks for their children. The club will sponsor the Lifesteps Child Check developmental and autism screening program from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at the borough library on South Jackson Street. It is for children from birth to five years old. Appointments are recommended. Liz Audo, the Child Check supervisor at Lifesteps in Butler, said professional screeners will use games and fun activities to determine whether the infants and toddlers are reaching the developmental milestones expected for their ages. For example, she said the screeners will have toddlers under age three roll, kick and catch a ball. to determine whether they can follow basic directions and demonstrate appropriate gross motor skills. Those aged three to five will look at pictures, count and draw specific lines for screeners. Audo said. “We’re looking to see how well the child can sit and follow directions, and how they do in general with more structured activities.” She said on the rare occasion that a child will not participate, the screeners will base their determination on the parent’s report. Other times the child will be rescreened later or at the preschool or day care they attend. Parents are immediately given the results of the screening as well as simple ways to help their child advance in any area, Audo said. She said if the screener feels it is necessary, the parent will be advised that the child needs a more comprehensive screening at one of the agencies with whom Lifesteps contracts, or should be rescreened at a later Child Check. Audo said 15 to 25 percent of the children screened require further evaluation or rescreening. “For some children, we’ll say “Try this for six months,” to parents, then rescreen them,” she said. Audo said last year, Lifesteps screened 2,476 children in Butler County. She said in addition to the private screenings like the one this Friday, Lifesteps also does Child Checks at preschools, day care facilities, and support groups. “We try to increase the number of children we screen every year,” she said. Lee Dyer, president of the Evans City Rotary, said Rotary’s mission is to improve the health of children worldwide, from clean water issues to polio eradication to education. He said the organization has added autism spectrum disorder to the list of child-health concerns, which would be picked up by Lifesteps screeners at a Child Check event. To make an appointment Friday, call 724-283-1010, or 1-800-225-1010. The event is open to everyone, including those outside of Evans City.