Early Child Development Q&A - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Early Child Development Q&A

Question:  What resources are available for children under the age of three if there is a concern about their development?

Answer:  Families who have children ages birth to three may utilize the First Step program.   This is Indiana and Kentucky’s Early Intervention Program.  All states are mandated to provide early intervention services to children with developmental delays.  If a child qualifies for First Steps services, depending on their need, services may include developmental evaluations, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, developmental therapy, etc. Conveniently for the parent, therapeutic services are conducted in the child’s natural environment such as their home or the childcare facility they attend. If you would like more information about the First Steps program, contact Evansville ARC’s Early Intervention office and ask for Amy or Laurie.


Question:  What do I do if I say, “No” and my child does not listen?

Answer:  Many times when you tell a child “No,” they may seem to ignore what you are saying.  If you are sure that your child heard you and understood what you had said, it is possible that they may be testing their “boundaries.”  As frustrating as this may be, it is actually developmentally appropriate for young children to exhibit these behaviors.   Keep in mind that you are the parent and that these are teachable moments in a child’s life. 

Here are some tips to facilitate your “teaching” in these situations:

  • Make sure that you have your child’s full attention
  • Attempt to establish eye contact, but this is not a necessity
  • Be clear and brief with your instructions
  • Be consistent!
  • Your child needs, and wants to know that “No” means “No”
  • Be prepared to follow through with consequences that you have set
  • Make sure that your child understands the expectations and consequences in advance.
  • Clear expectations help children learn “right” from “wrong,” so prepare them for potentially difficult situations (ex: a trip to the grocery store).

Question:   How can I increase growth and development in my baby?

Answer:  In the infancy and toddler stages, children learn through their senses.  This includes things that they can touch, taste, hear, see, and smell.  Simple items around your house, such as a box or a ball, can stimulate brain development.  For example, you have probably seen a child who receives a gift and they are more interested in the packaging rather than the elaborate toy that was purchased.  To encourage development, talk about these items and allow the child to explore them in a safe manner.  Be cautious – some items may be a choking hazard.


Question:  My child is 2 ½ and is not showing any interest in potty training.  What can I do to encourage this? 

Answer:  As a parent or caregiver, you might see signs of potty training readiness.  These signs may include:

    • Staying dry for longer periods of time
    • Child indicating to adult that he/she is wet or has had a bowel movement
    • Willingness to sit on the toilet
    • Child talking about going potty

After you have determined that your child is showing signs of readiness, then you can encourage this skill by:

·        Allowing child to choose underwear/potty chair

·        Scheduling potty breaks throughout the day

·        Prompting your child with, “It’s time to use the potty,” as opposed to “Do you want to go potty?”

·        Putting your child in regular underwear; a child will not have the same sensation when he/she is wet with diapers or pull-ups

·        Providing positive reinforcement for using the potty

·        Never criticize, joke, or punish a child for not using the potty.  This will only discourage the child and cause him/her to view toileting as negative

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