TOLEDO (WTOL) - If you think your child has a developmental delay, now is the time to take action.
Mary Bockert sees the people from “Help Me Grow” as family.
"I was surrounded by people who wanted to see my child succeed as much as I did and they quickly became family," she said.
Mary's six year journey with Help Me Grow began when her first daughter was just a baby.
"They looked like seizures to me. She was having a hard time keeping her head up," she says about the unexplained mannerisms of her daughter, who was eight months old at the time.
Her daughter has low muscle tone, which means the muscles are too flexible and cause problems moving.
Mary learned about Help Me Grow and called for an evaluation.
“I was a new mom, an eight-month-old baby and I had no idea. So I called Help Me Grow and they immediately got me in within the same week,” she said.
Help Me Grow has been around forever, but many people aren’t aware of the program, which helps children from birth to three years old.
It's operated by Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
You're already paying for it with your taxes, so no matter if you're rich or poor, your child qualifies.
“These are part of your tax dollars. If you have any doubt in your mind, you know as a mom and a parent that there is something maybe not right, just come in,” said developmental specialist Kristin Andrews. “It’s free.”
Therapists and developmental specialists come out to the house or daycare and work with you to identify any delays and come up with a plan.
The minute you suspect your baby has trouble eating, playing, speaking or moving, call them.
You don't have to wait for your doctor to refer you.
“Research shows the most rapid brain development happens between birth and five years, so the sooner we can intervene, we’re able to better prepare these children and make a bigger impact on their development,” said developmental specialist Angela Ernest.
"If you have two children and one is receiving intervention and one who isn't receiving intervention, the child who's getting that help is going to surpass the child who isn't," said speech language pathologist Katie Claus.
The specialists and therapists can help with meal time, play time, snacks and bath time.
"How can we help make your day easier? That's our main goal," said Andrews.
It turns out, Mary’s three girls have the same muscle tone issue, so she’s been through this a lot and has even started a blog about Help Me Grow to help other moms.
“If you have any question or doubt in your mind as a mom, as a parent, why wouldn’t you seek it out?” she asks.
To learn more about Help Me Grow, contact the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities at 800-755-4769.