Pregnant women who will give birth in the next three months and moms who have given birth since June 1 are being sought to participate in a three-year study that gives their child an opportunity to reach his or her greatest potential, according to Paula Tarver of Valrico.
Tarver is the co-author of “Advance My Baby: The Ultimate Secrets of Healthy Development for Your Baby – Birth to 3 Years.”
She and partner Jeanne Martin are conducting the study to test their theory that mothers who spend at least 15 to 30 minutes with their child three times a day, conducting activities and exercises found in the "Advance My Baby" manual, will face a lesser chance of their child being developmentally delayed.
Tarver points to government statistics that show Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) now affects one in 10 children and autism affects one in 110 children. In addition, 500,000 babies are born premature annually, according to the March of Dimes. And early births often lead to developmental delays, said Tarver.
"Not one mother expected any of these diagnoses when they gave birth," said Tarver. "Yet, those mothers are spending thousands of dollars each year medicating and treating their children."
She said the study takes a look at the belief that a sensory integration diet given to children during their developmental years, especially in the earliest days of the child’s life, can have a positive influence on these troubling diagnoses.
How the study works
With the purchase of the "Advance My Baby" manual ($49.95), mothers will be provided free online assessments every three months for the first three years of the child’s life (a $600 value). The assessments will measure the child’s skills in six developmental categories: gross motor skill, fine motor skill, cognitive, language, self care and social/emotional behavior.
Mothers are asked to record their activity with their baby in a Home Checklist provided at the end of each chapter in the manual. As the child ages, the parents will be able to measure developmental progress.
The assessments provide an early detection tool if the baby is predisposed to developmental delays, said Tarver. The manual provides activities and exercises to develop the underlying sensory system that may be compromised and showing itself as a delay in an area of development.
Tarver encourages those who are experiencing their pregnancy with other women to participate in the study together to provide encouragement and accountability.
More information about the study and a qualifying application can be found at http://advancemybaby.com/child-development-study/.
The manual may be purchased online at the website or on Amazon.