Baby's First Year · Parenting

Child development: Don’t wait and see

Toddler covering face with hands

The rapid changes children undergo in the early years of life can leave parents wondering how best to care for them at each stage. As May is Speech, Hearing and Vision month, we’d like to make sure you are aware of some important ways to support the child in your world.

When one or more of these skills are delayed or impaired, don’t wait and see. We are here to help your child reach their full potential!

What we know

The first three years of life are a time of rapid brain growth and organization that affects language development as well as cognitive, emotional, social, vision, and motor development. A child’s ability to play, learn, and communicate has an impact on their health, relationships, school success, and eventually their career.

Early intervention and support is key! Discuss any concerns you may have with your child’s doctor.

What can you do?

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Was your child’s hearing screened at or shortly after birth? If no, speak to your doctor about a referral to have your child’s hearing tested by an audiologist or call Early Abilities at (416) 338-8255.
  • Do you have any concerns about your child’s hearing now? If yes, ask your child’s family doctor or paediatrician for a referral for a hearing test.
  • Does your child meet age appropriate milestones on our preschool speech and language communication checklist? If no, register online to put your child’s name on our waitlist for a speech and language assessment or call Early Abilities at (416) 338-8255.
  • Do you have any concerns about your child’s vision? A child’s vision can be tested as young as six months of age. Optometrists recommend that a comprehensive eye exam be completed prior to a child entering full day kindergarten. Eye exams are covered by OHIP from birth to 19 years of age.

Learn more and get additional tips and resources on speech, hearing and vision to help your child now.

If you have any questions, please connect with our health professionals via eChat or call (416) 338-7600.

As of April 1, 2022 the Preschool Speech and Language, Blind-Low Vision and Infant Hearing programs have moved from Toronto Public Health (Early Abilities) to Surrey Place. To register for services or learn more about the programs, please visit Surrey Place or call 416-925-5141.

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