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R.E.A.C.H. Helps Parents To Get Kids Tested

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Statistics show nearly 1 in 36 children in the Americas may have a developmental issue.

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Statistics Show Nearly 1 in 36 Children in the Americas May Have a Developmental Issue

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – While many children, especially in inner-city communities, often go undiagnosed, R.E.A.C.H. (Resource and Educational Source for Autism) recently teamed up with other organizations to help those children who have fallen through the cracks. Our Jean Joseph reports.

About 90 parents, who ordinarily may not have had the opportunity, were able to get their kids developmental assessments thanks to a partnership between R.E.A.C.H. and the Marjorie Davis Institute as part of Speech Therapy Month.

The numbers tell the real story. Over the last ten years, the rates of children with special needs increased from 1 in 80 to 1 in 51. A 2022 survey shows approximately 1 out of every 36 children is born with developmental issues. Pediatric consultant and Chief of Pediatrics at PMH, Dr. Dashawna Saunders, says the numbers are alarming.

Dr. Saunders says parents may notice behavioral and social issues in their children over time, like avoiding eye contact and shying away from interactions with other children. The primary red flag for developmental issues is language delay, signaling parents to seek help at the first signs.

Lateka Cooper-Culmer, an educator, relocated from Eleuthera to Nassau when she realized her daughter, now 5, had developmental issues. With limited resources on the island, she is thankful for the organization’s generosity.

Since moving to Nassau, Cooper says her daughter has shown signs of improvement. She is also able to see speech therapist Nafeesa Arafat weekly, thanks to R.E.A.C.H.

Nafeesa Arafat, a speech therapist, emphasizes the importance of parents as the primary educators for their children and the significant difference that collaboration can make.

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