Chicago, September 5, 2013
(CHICAGO, September 5, 2013) – Don’t forget your child’s most important back-to-school supply - health! According to the National Survey of Children’s Health 2007, one in five households with children has a child with a special health care need and could benefit from developmental screenings and services. Easter Seals, through the generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, is making it possible for parents and caregivers to easily track their children’s development through age 5 through a free online screening tool called the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® which is now available in English and Spanish.
“We are proud to partner with Easter Seals around its Make the First Five Count® program to make sure children are achieving their developmental milestones during the important first five years of life,” says Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “Developmental health screenings are crucial to a child’s future success and with the Ages and Stages Questionnaires™, Easter Seals can help children of all abilities to be the best that they can be.”
After observing their child and taking the online survey, parents can download their child’s results to discuss with their pediatrician. Every child should be screened frequently throughout childhood to ensure he or she is not at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. The survey can help indicate if your child is on track to enter kindergarten – and offers advice and support from Easter Seals if they’re not.
Tips for Educational Play
Regardless of how a child develops, there are ways to help them develop a love of learning:
• Read to them. In young children, it nurtures an interest in language, words and communication.
• Play word games.
• Encourage children to write original stories and illustrate them with their own drawings.
• Show them the value of math by making connections to everyday life with “teachable math moments,” from cutting slices of pizza to getting gas for the car.
• Praise your children’s academic progress. Tell them that you are proud of their efforts. When students are confident in their abilities, they enjoy learning.
Timing is Everything
The first five years of life really count – the years of learning that shape kids’ futures. Yet every year, more than one million children with unidentified delays and disabilities enter school with learning and health issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential.
“The online tools are an effective first step toward identifying if a child could benefit from early intervention, “says Patricia Wright, national director of autism services, Easter Seals. “Easter Seals is thrilled to be making the industry-standard developmental screening available to parents, for free and online for the very first time.”
Visit www.MaketheFirstFiveCount.org to take an effective first step toward identifying if your child is school-ready.
About the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, Inc. is a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS). CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the nation. The Trust's mission is to provide funding for health care, education and community involvement initiatives in CVS Caremark communities. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations portion of the Company's Web site at investor.cvs.com, or through the Web site's press room www.cvscaremark.com/newsroom.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more nearly 100 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count is designed to give children at risk of developmental delays, disabilities or autism the right support they need to be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Learn more at www.makethefirstfivecount.org and www.easterseals.com.