High Quality Developmental Screening

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date

Fall 2004


Developmental and Behavioral News


Volume 14


Children's Health


Change is never easy, especially when we are the ones – prompted by new knowledge, different circumstances, patient dissatisfaction or changed expectations – who must change. While a challenge, change also provides an opportunity for leadership.

Such is the case with developmental screening. The imminent change is routine high-quality developmental screening for all young children. The evidence is clear: Developmental delays, disabilities, and learning, behavioral and social-emotional problems are much more common than most people realize, affecting one in every six children across all economic levels, and all racial and ethnic groups.

Seventeen percent of all children have a developmental delay at one time or another. And about 16 percent have a speech-language impairment, mental retardation, learning disability, or emotional or behavioral disturbance. Identifying problems in infants, toddlers and preschoolers – and then providing effective interventions and supports – can dramatically improve a child’s health, learning, and social and emotional development in ways that are unlikely, often impossible, just a few years later.

Open Access