Step 1: Decide to Screen

Why is developmental screening important?

One in six American children have developmental disorders or delays. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental screening at 9 months, 18 months and 30 months and whenever a concern is raised for all children, as well as surveillance of child development at every well child visit. 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. Using a standardized developmental screen catches 70-80% of delays.

Implementing the AAP recommendations in your practice can improve school readiness in your community by identifying needs and providing necessary services at the earliest, most effective times. It can also save significant costs by preventing later intervention and remediation.

Why should your practice implement standardized developmental screening?

• Improve the quality of care you provide your patients

• Align with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Patient-Centered Medical Home, and Medicaid

• Improve your relationships with families by opening up richer discussions about early childhood development

• Increase the number of children with developmental concerns that are connected to evidence-based resources

• Improve health and school outcomes for children across the lifespan

Included in this Step:

• Checklist for Screening Implementation to guide planning at your practice

 Developmental Screening Buy-In presentation, provided as an adaptable template for an initial practice-wide meeting about screening

•  Pre-Survey sample for administration to gain insight into current staff belief and practice around developmental screening

 

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Quality early childhood education settings have great potential to transform our nation’s health.

Dina Lieser, MD, FAAP