In the United States, about 13% of children have a developmental or behavioral disability. Many others have delays in language and other areas that get in the way of school readiness. Many delays aren’t identified until a child reaches age 10 *, by which time delays have compounded and opportunities for treatment may have been missed.
Developmental screenings are short tests to see if a child is on track developmentally or if there are delays when it comes to learning basic skills. Typically, these are administered at well-child visits by medical providers and in other care settings, including child care professionals. When a provider conducts a screening, he/she may ask the family some questions, or talk and play with a child to see how the child, learns, speaks, behaves and moves. Delays in these areas can be a sign of a problem.
Based on recommendations from the 100-Day Challenge Team, Ready/Ready will bring together medical professionals and other key agencies/ organizations to develop a common approach to developmental screenings and referrals in Guilford County. The goal is two-fold: (1) connect more children with delays to appropriate services, supports and interventions as appropriate; and (2) collect population-level data so we can understand and scale interventions to community need.
In 2017, we plan to convene key players in High Point around developmental screenings with the goal of developing a process and pilot. Watch for progress updates on this page.
* Boyle CA, Boulet S, Schieve L, Cohen RA, Blumberg SJ, Yeargin-Allsopp M, Visser S, Kogan MD. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997–2008. Pediatrics. 2011, doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2989.