Step 3: Choose a Quality Screen

You’ve decided to screen and formed your team. Now it’s time to commit to a developmental screen! There are a number of high-quality, validated tools to choose from.

Things to Consider:

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best tool for your practice:

  • Parent Literacy: Many available tools rely on parents to fill it out. Is this feasible for your patient population? Would many parents need help filling out a screen if it is more complicated or long?
  • Language: What are the language trends in your population? Does the screen in question already have a validated translation to suit your needs? Is there staff capacity to translate as needed?
  • Time to Complete: How long would it take for a parent and/or provider to complete the screen? Could it be done during current waiting times or before the office visit? How much time would this screen add to the entire process?
  • Time to Evaluate: How difficult is the screen to score? Are results available to discuss with parents right away? How much time would evaluating the screen add to the entire process?

Making the choice a practice-wide discussion is a great way to both maintain engagement and gain helpful input. For example, oftentimes clerical and intake/triage staff have more interaction with the patient population and have insight into challenges around literacy and language. You can open the process up to feedback, make the decision by vote, and/or pilot one of the screens and elicit team and parent feedback to see what would be best for your practice needs.

Included in this Step:

From our work materials that we have created for use alongside the SWYC (Survey for Well-Being of Young Children) Developmental Milestones, including:

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Investing in quality early learning programs is the most efficient way to affect school and life success and to reduce social expenditures later.

James Heckman, economist, Nobel laureate