Are you wondering if your child's behavior is "typical" for his/her age? Here are some places to begin to seek answers.
STEP 1: Pediatrician Evaluation
First start with your child's pediatrician. Schedule an appointment, either with or without your child and discuss your concerns.
As a guide, you can use the questionaire from the Easter Seals if you child is 5 or younger. http://www.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ntlc10_mffc_homepageasq
If your concern is about your child's behavior, Akron Children's Hospital has a short video about when you might need to raise your concerns to the child's pediatrician. https://www.akronchildrens.org/cms/behavioral_health_evaluation/
Remember, you can always get a second opinion from a different pediatrician if you don't agree with your pediatrician's assessment or if he/she won't refer you to a specialist.
STEP 2: Help Me Grow or School District Evaluation
If your pediatrician shares your concerns, he/she will refer you to an assessment organization based on the age of your child. These organizations provide services regardless of income level and are wonderful resources for connecting with programs within the community.
If your child is younger than three years, they receive services from a state wide program called Help Me Grow. The county will assess your child and help you locate appropriate services.
The Cuyahoga County phone number is 216-698-7500 and the website is www.helpmegrow.org.
The Lorain County phone number is 1-800-729-8687.
If your child is three years of age or older, you will be referred to your local school district for an evaluation. The Ohio Department of Education produced this guide to describe the school district evaluation process: Whose_idea_is_this?
STEP 3: Private Doctor or Therapist Evaluation
In addition to county and/or school evaluation, you have the option of a private evaluation. For referrals you could contact your pediatrician. In addition, Connecting for Kids has a goal of putting together a comprehensive directory of pediatric professionals and programs so that you can understand the services available for your child privately.