California Health Report • Jan 12, 2021
Alionka Hernandez had a nagging feeling something was wrong with her 1-year-old son, Diego.
There was his all-too-frequent smile, the way he was so quiet, and how he had spoken “mama” and “papa” at six months of age — and then stopped speaking altogether a few months later.
Time and again, Diego’s doctor dismissed Hernandez’ concerns. But by the time Diego went in for his 20-month check-up, the Oakland woman was done hearing he was just fine. In tears after that appointment, she begged a nurse at the reception desk to see a different doctor. The sympathetic nurse handed her a bag with programs and pamphlets, including one for a developmental screening and referral program called “Help Me Grow.”
Three months later, doctors at the Regional Center of the East Bay (where Help Me Grow had referred her) had diagnosed Diego with autism. Hernandez was in shock and not even clear what autism was, but she also felt intense relief.
Read the rest of the story in California Health Report.
Sep 8, 2020
This report highlights six key areas in need of attention in order to create an EII system that is family-centered and effective.
Alexandra Parma • Sep 22, 2020
When a child shows signs of a developmental concern, getting connected to supports early is key. Leticia DeGracia, a Sacramento mother of four young children, knew this was true and took swift action when two of her children, Jaqueline and Brandon, showed symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
California Health Report & Mercury News • Oct 5, 2020
In California, parents who suspect their child has a developmental delay often wait months or even years to get a formal diagnosis and to obtain services, according to research by the First 5 Center for Children’s Policy.