Developmental Screening

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Before selecting a screening instrument, it is necessary to consider the primary purpose of developmental screening in your setting or practice. For example, do you wish to enhance developmental surveillance, detect general developmental problems, or identify specific developmental problems or disorders? Use the table below to begin to explore your options.

Purpose Screening Implications
Is your practice interested in a comprehensive approach? Can your practice implement more than one screening procedure? Consider a "parental concern"–based instrument for developmental surveillance at well-child visits and the administration of a more comprehensive screening measure at intervals recommended by the AAP.
Do you wish to focus efforts on eliciting parental concerns? Consider an instrument that elicits parental concerns about their children's development such as the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS).
Do you wish to obtain parents' views on developmental skills in specific developmental domains (e.g., language) for the purpose of referral or treatment planning? Consider an instrument that measures a range of different developmental skills such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ).
Do you wish to screen for specific developmental disorders such as language delay or autism? Consider an instrument that is designed for the assessment of specific disorders.

2. What Are the Characteristics of Patients in Your Practice?

Back to Part I: Defining Your Practice's Screening Needs

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