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Make Sure Your Child is on Track with a Free Developmental Screening from RiverView Health

Community news | Friday, March 10, 2023

Studies show that children are more successful in school and life if given a strong foundation in the earliest years of their lives.

RiverView Health's Rehab Services Team offers free developmental screenings for children from birth to age five to ensure they are establishing that strong foundation.

A screening is a simple appointment used to identify infants and young children at risk for potential health, developmental, or social-emotional problems. Screening helps identify children who need more evaluation and addresses concerns early before they become bigger problems.

“Screens give parents piece of mind that their child is on the right track,’’ shared Erin Jore, CCC-SLP and Speech Therapy coordinator at RiverView. “It’s a time when the therapist can give parents ideas and strategies to promote development. If needed, we can also refer the child to other great early childhood resources in our community.’’

The screening process creates an opportunity for parents to learn more about developmental milestones so they know what to look for as their children grow. Conducted consistently, screening provides a benchmark for tracking children's development over time. Intervention and support services provided in early childhood can support children's development and help them to be ready for school.

At RiverView, physical, occupational, and speech therapists screen children in the following areas:

  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Speech/Language
  • Reading and Writing
  • Self Help Skills
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Social Skills

There are different screening milestones for different ages beginning at birth. Below are a few milestones for children at the age of two:


  • Says 150-200 words, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, and social phrases
  • Consistently combines two words to make phrases
  • Uses speech to answer easy questions
  • Asks simple questions
  • Uses words more than gestures/grunts

Physical Therapy

  • Runs
  • Walks up stairs with one hand held
  • Ability to carry large toy while walking
  • Can squat during play
  • Retrieves toy off of the floor from a standing position
  • Can climb onto furniture, turn and sit

Occupational Therapy

  • Plays appropriately with toys
  • Can remove socks, untie shoes, and pull on pants without help
  • Can build a tower of six blocks
  • Uses utensils well
  • Can unscrew the top of a one-inch or two-inch bottle

Between the ages of four and five, a child should reach the following milestones:


  • Tells simple stories with sentences of five to eight words
  • Understands time concepts (ex: now, soon, later)
  • Carries on a simple conversation
  • Predicts outcomes or provides explanations
  • Uses language to resolve disputes with peers
  • Tells what is real and what is make-believe
  • Speaks with correct grammar
  • Gives descriptions of objects (ex: Tell me about an apple)

Physical Therapy

  • Imitates body movements (up to four positions)
  • Can complete sit-ups
  • Is able to complete a somersault
  • Gallops

Occupational Therapy

  • Puts on socks
  • Pulls pants on/off
  • Colors in between the lines
  • Uses a scissor to cut simple shapes (circle, square)
  • Cares for self at the toilet (after a bowel movement)

"If you have any concerns regarding your child's overall development, reach out," Jore urged. "It is always better to intervene sooner than later. Without intervention, your child may be at risk of becoming further delayed. Screens are free and scheduled when it works best for you."

While the Rehab Team commonly offers screening for children from birth to age five, screening is available for patients of any age, Jore reported. Screenings and services are offered at RiverView Rehab locations in Crookston (281.9463), East Grand Forks (773.1390), Fertile (945.5620), and Red Lake Falls (253.4606).

Pictured above: Christine Loff, DPT, conducts a screening on a seven-month old patient.