What is a developmental screening?
It is an opportunity to see how your child is learning and developing. A screening can identify delays that may interfere with expected growth, learning, and development that may warrant further diagnosis, assessment, and evaluation.
A developmental screening will look at the way your child is:
- speaking and understanding information
- using their hands and fingers
- using their arms and legs
- learning and playing with toys and other children
- able to problem-solve
Why should my child get a developmental check-up?
- A developmental check-up can give you an idea of your child’s strengths and abilities.
- If your child would benefit from early intervention services you can receive a referral to a community agency
- Research has shown that early intervention increases a child’s ability to be ready for school
Your child’s pediatrician is in a unique position to identify developmental concerns early and refer your child for further evaluation and/or treatment. It is important to share any concerns you have about your child’s development with your child’s pediatrician. In addition to a pediatrician observing your child’s behavior and asking you questions about their health and development, a screening tool, which asks you questions about your child’s development specific to their age, is proven to identify additional concerns that are difficult to simply observe.
If the screening indicates developmental concerns, the pediatrician may ask you more questions in order to determine the next step. If the pediatrician remains concerned over the development, they will provide you with a referral. A referral is for further assessment and determines if your child qualifies for services. It is important to call to call the referring agency for your child as soon as you receive the referral. Further assessment takes time and you want the process to begin as soon as possible.
If you share concerns about your child’s development with their pediatrician and they take no action and suggests a wait and see approach to see if the concerns resolve over time. If you disagree with their approach and want to learn more about making a referral and better understand your rights, please call Help Me Grow at 805-981-6617.