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"Look What I Can Do!" offers parent information, networking and a free night out for dinner

PETOSKEY - What are the signs of healthy development in an infant or young child? Parents and caregivers often wonder what milestones come next, and how they can help their child master these new skills. Tools that evaluate both physical and emotional development in children from birth to age five are now readily accessible, according to Natalie Kasiborski, coordinator of the Early Childhood Behavioral Health Initiative for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.

Kasiborski and the Health Department, in partnership with the Char-Em Intermediate School District and Great Start, invite parents to learn about these tools – better known as the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) – during a free Parent Support Night entitled Look What I Can Do! The event takes place on Wednesday, March 13th from 6pm until 7:30pm at the Taylor School, 1515 Cemetery Road in Petoskey. Dinner is included – at no charge – followed by a special presentation by Kasiborski, then dessert, Q&A and networking opportunities. On-site child care is also provided free of charge.

“The ASQ toolkit offers confidential, Web-based questions that help parents establish a clear picture of their children's physical and social-emotional development,” Kasiborski explained. “It helps them learn what to expect, builds new skills and also identifies developmental concerns. When concerns are found, we help them with the next steps, providing suggested activities they can use at home, and putting them in contact with the resources and support they need.”

Kasiborski said the Parent Support Nights, like the one coming up on March 13th, are designed around the idea that parents have needs, too. “We are giving them a night out for dinner, on us – no need to find a babysitter,” she said. “This Support Night will offer an opportunity to take a guided tour of the ASQ toolkit, and learn how to get the most out of it. Parents will also have the chance to network with other parents who may be having similar experiences with their children, and who will benefit from these resources.”

Dinner begins at 6pm, followed by the program at 6:30, and then dessert, Q&A and networking at 7pm. For more details, contact Kasiborski at (800) 432-4121 or

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties. Visit the Health Department online at, or call (800) 432-4121.