Early Identification Guide

Early Identification Guide

Help Me Grow Ventura County developed this guide to provide you with information about implementing developmental screening in your medical practice.

Contact us to get copies of this guide. The guide provides information about the importance of implementing developmental screening in your practice, the AAP practice parameters, choosing a standardized, well-validated screening tool, a sample practice work flow, billing information and community referrals and resources. Some of this information is also provided below.

Physician Resources

Early identification of developmental delays in young children supports and improves long-term developmental outcomes including academic success.

The pediatric medical home is the ideal setting for developmental screening.
The addition of a standardized screening tool increases referral and identification rates!

The American Academy of Pediatrics Practice Parameters

The AAP recommends:

  • A general developmental screening at: 9. 18, & 24/30* months
  • An autism-specific screening at: 18 & 24 months

*Either 24 or 30 months depending on the likelihood of seeing the child for a well-child visit.

Choosing a validated, standardized screening tool

Help Me Grow Ventura County recommends the use of the ASQ-3 or the PEDS for general developmental screening and the M-CHAT for autism-specific screening.
These tools:

  • have a relatively high sensitivity and specificity
  • have a relatively low cost
  • are easy to use and score

For additional information about screening tools, check out Birth to 5: Watch me Thrive! A Compendium of Screening Measures for Young Children.

For additional support and training, please contact us.

Referrals and Resources

If a child screens positive on a screening tool or you are concerned about a child’s development, please contact the following community agencies for information about additional screening, developmental evaluation, intervention services and other resources.

Children ages 0-3:

Early Start (Coordinated through Tri-Counties Regional Center)
May provide evaluation, case management and/or intervention services. Please ask for the Early Start Department.
OXNARD:   Phone (800) 664-3177   Fax (805) 278-9060
SIMI VALLEY:   Phone (800) 517-2524   Fax (805) 522-8142

Children over the age of 3:

Tri-Counties Regional Center (TCRC)
May provide evaluation, case management and/or intervention services for children with autism, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy and/or cerebral palsy. Please ask to speak to the Intake Coordinator and request an intake.
OXNARD:   Phone (800) 664-3177   Fax (805) 988-9521
SIMI VALLEY:   Phone (800) 517-2524   Fax (805) 522-8142

Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)
Note individual districts and County-run programs implement special education services. Special education services may include evaluation, school placement, and intervention services.
Phone: (805) 437-1560   Fax: (805) 437-1599

Additional Resources:

Children’s Health Promotion Program (Ventura County Public Health) – ages 0-5 years
May provide additional screenings, case management and family support. May help with referrals and transitions to other programs. Please ask for a Family Support Specialist.
Phone: (805) 981-5240   Fax: (805) 981-5387

First 5- Neighborhoods for Learning (NfLs) – ages 0-5 years
NfLs are family resource centers. Programs are designed by each community and may include high-quality preschool, parent/child classes, parent education as well as access to health and dental services.
Check out their website or call 2-1-1 to locate the NfL in your neighborhood

2-1-1 Ventura County – all ages
Provides comprehensive information and referral services for Ventura County, including referrals to family resource centers and parenting resources.
Call 2-1-1 or check out the Children & Family page on the 2-1-1 website.