Chipley- Every child is special, but as Jennifer Adams, PhD., a consultant for PAEC explained, for some children, some needs are more special than others.
“We're looking for a child who's had a lot of ear infections, or maybe they're speech is unclear. Maybe they're having a hard time grasping learning tasks like colors, being able to answer questions, following routines- or they just seem a little slower in their development."
To better understand the child’s struggles, Adams performs a free forty minute screening. “I've got my language screener; I've got materials to get a child to do structured tasks- see how well they can perform certain skills."
She administers the screens all year round and has identified a wide range of learning disabilities.
"Certainly that would be something no parent wants to hear” she said. “But at the same time, I do respect parents that seek out intervention for the child because, the earlier we can provide services the better."
After assessing the results, Adams makes a customized referral. "What I do is just gather some preliminary information and basic present level of performance. And then, I just prepare a packet for the school district so the school district can review it and determine if the child is eligible for Pre- K services.
Adams said for some kids, Pre-K was the key to long term success."[Pre-K] provides a rich curriculum of good foundation skills so a child is ready for kindergarten, But, it’s also it's very intensive in social skills, learning and communication."
Adams screens in nine Panhande counties from to Walton to Liberty and Franklin.
People living outside of that area can still call PAEC for guidance at: 850 638 6131.