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WHAT is a Developmental Screening and WHY is it Essential?

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, much about typical routines has changed. About 1 month ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics revealed data marking the stark decrease in attendance of pediatrician well-child visits and vaccination rates during the safer-at-home orders. Unfortunately, these patterns will likely introduce a layered public health issue, as new challenges come to light within the shadow of an already-existing pandemic.

Well-child visits are important for multiple reasons. In addition to offering valuable time to discuss concerns with your pediatrician and administration of recommended vaccines for disease prevention, these appointments are scheduled at specific age intervals in order to track growth and developmental milestones.

Developmental screenings are often performed by a healthcare professional in order to catch delays early and intervene quickly. Screening tools measure a variety of developmental milestones in areas ranging from physical to social-emotional to communication skills. They are often low (or no) cost, brief questionnaires that rely on parent/caregiver report. Not only do screeners identify potential delays, but they also allow for exciting celebrations as your child progresses along the amazing developmental trajectory! The good news is that they can be administered and interpreted by a variety of childcare professionals, not limited to only pediatricians.

If you have noticed a possible delay in your child's development, have missed previous well-child visits during the safer-at-home period, or are simply curious about monitoring your child's milestones, contact our team of pediatric experts today. We have access to a variety of screening tools and offer one-on-one consultation time via telehealth or in-person to discuss the findings and specific recommendations to best support your family.

Screenings may last as little as 5 minutes long, but could identify your child's needs and connect your family with services that will make a remarkable difference for years to come. Remember: early detection and intervention are surefire ways to set your child up for success!

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