Developmental checkups are a great way to make sure that every infant, toddler and preschooler is healthy and ready to learn and grow. The best tools for these checkups are accurate, inexpensive, and based on what parents know.
Every child needs regular developmental screenings. They are as simple and as important as regularly checking a child’s height and weight.
Why? Because early intervention works. And the sooner a problem or developmental issue is identified, the sooner a child can be helped. At least one in every eight children has a developmental concern along the way. Twelve to seventeen percent of all children have a:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening children at 9, 18, 24, and/or 30 months using a standardized screening tool because of the demonstrated improvement in early identification with standardized screening instruments. The literature tells us that developmental surveillance alone captures only 30% of children with delays and disabilities before the age of five , as opposed to 70-80% of children identified at risk for developmental delay when using a standardized tool. Early identification of delays can promote access to early intervention to appropriate services and hopefully eliminate or mitigate more severe or long-lasting delays.
Screening is most effective when embedded in a preventive services system in primary care, where screening is part of a preventive services schedule coordinated with other guidance and screening activities, and where concerns/observations always lead to a within-office guidance process even if a referral to an outside agency or service is made.
Click on the links below to learn more about Developmental Screening in both Early Care and Education and Child Welfare settings.