Developmental Screening

About 20% of children have developmental disorders or delays. Yet routine developmental screening by pediatric providers is not being done as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Only 20-30% of children with developmental disorders are identified before entering school, which means too many kids are not entering school ready to succeed.

Standardized developmental screening has been recommended by the AAP since 2001. But provider surveys suggest that fewer than half of providers are screening at recommended ages using evidence-based screens.

Identifying and intervening in early childhood is the most efficient use of resources and provides the best results for families. Docs for Tots works with pediatricians and others to increase the use of standardized developmental screening procedures through communication, education and training, tools and technical assistance. To increase developmental screening,

Docs for Tots:

  • Promotes emphasizing child development in medical practice through use of developmental screening and coordination of care
  • Works with partners across early childhood settings to ensure that kids are screened where they are – at health care visits, early childhood education and care settings, and during home visits
  • Educates and empowers parents to ensure that their children are screened
  • Works at the systems and policy level to promote developmental screening
  • Engages a broad base of advocacy partners to advocate for developmental screening

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Early identification of developmental disorders is critical to the well-being of children and their families.

American Academy of Pediatrics