A lot of parents will take their child to the pediatrician for their wellness visit and assume that the screenings and physical they get from the pediatrician are all the care they need, but this isn't true. Your pediatrician will do a variety of things inside the office, but checking things like your child's hearing and vision is imperative.
Many parents don't realize that their kids need to see specific specialists as they grow and develop. You need to take your child to the optometrist, audiologist and orthodontist if they are starting kindergarten for the following reasons.
Some parents never take their child to see an eye doctor until their child has a noticeable vision problem or learning concern. Your child should see the optometrist before they start kindergarten, and at least by the age of 6 years old, to ensure that they don't have any vision problems. This can help you detect a problem before it starts to affect their ability to learn. You could be mistaking their inability to pick up on letters, patterns and shapes as an academic problem when it's a sight issue.
If your child is constantly yelling and they have a hard time pronouncing words, the problem could be their hearing. The child should see an audiologist if you notice they don't always hear you or speak clearly, and if their educator or childcare provider stresses there could be an issue. You could be forcing them into speech when the problem is they don't know what the words are supposed to sound like. The hearing test with an audiologist will be the most in depth and ideal to find out what's going on.
Going to the dentist isn't enough; a child actually needs to see an orthodontist before the age of 6 years so any orthodontic issues can be caught early. Issues like TMJ, crossbites and improper palate formation need to be fixed right away. Your dentist should be able to recommend someone; if not, try to find an orthodontist that specializes in pediatric treatment options and care. Grinding and joint concerns can cause long term problems.
If your child hasn't seen any of these specialist and you have any concerns, make sure you get an appointment with the right professionals quickly. You don't want to put your child's health and development at risk because you were too careless to make the appointment.