Caring for Kids: Developmental screenings for kids

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Early brain development

You want your children to have all the advantages, right from the start. As a leader in promoting early brain development, Park Nicollet offers specialized screenings to make sure your child is best supported on the path to optimal learning and emotional health.

Screening assesses development and identifies strengths as well as areas where your child may benefit from early intervention and support. For example, screening  identifies potential areas to focus intervention to address issues such as speech delay, learning difficulties, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, and motor, visual or hearing impairments. About one out of every six children needs some form of developmental or behavioral support. When detected early, many issues can be corrected or even prevented.

At each well-child visit from birth to age 21, your child will receive developmental or social and emotional screening. Our screening tools are based on recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures, a multidisciplinary initiative to improve the health and well-being of all children.

The screening tools include simple questionnaires for parents and children to complete before each well-child visit. These screenings are reviewed as part of the visit to identify any additional topics to discuss or to identify early on any concerns that may need further evaluation. Your clinician will partner with you and your child to refer to the appropriate specialist or support services, if needed.

Developmental screening
Brief, standardized tools help confirm assess development and identify developmental risks, delays or difficulties.

“Ages and stages” questionnaires measure communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social development, and are used as part of developmental screening at the following well-child visits:

  • 2, 4, 9, 15, 18 and 30 months
  • 4 years 

Hearing Screening
Signs and symptoms of hearing loss in kids are different than for adults. If you notice changes in your child's behavior at home or at school, it's a good idea to get a hearing screening. If left unchecked, hearing issues can lead to speech impediments and more.

Talk to your child's doctor or pediatrician about screenings.

Autism screening
Evaluates three core areas of autism spectrum disorders – social skills, communication, and behavior and interests – through a combination of observation and interaction.

  • Screening is completed at the 18 and 24 month well-child visits or at any age if child has risk factors or shows behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders

Psychosocial and behavioral assessment
Assesses a child’s social-emotional functioning, including communication, affect/mood, interaction with people and anxiety. Helps to recognize cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems, and initiate appropriate interventions as early as possible.

Age-appropriate screenings are provided at the following well-child visits:

  • 6, 12 and 24 months
  • 3 and 5 years
  • 6 to 21 years