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Screening for Developmental Delays Assessment

All parents anticipate and track their child's development, and the majority of the time children meet their milestones on time. However, some parents get concerned when their child doesn't do something by the age he or she is "supposed to." A complete psychological and development assessment include specific questions about your child's development and behavior. At the minimum, at certain intervals (9, 18, 30, and 48 months) a formal developmental screen should be administered, using either a parent-completed or directly administered developmental screening tool. In addition to this, a formal developmental screens should also be completed whenever there's a concern about development. These screens look at all areas of development—language/communication, problem-solving, social-emotional, and fine and gross motor skills. An autism screening can be completed on all children as early as 18 and 24 months.

Common screening tools used to help identify children at risk for developmental delays and/or autism:

  • Learning disorders including dyslexia, writing difficulties, math disorders, and other school-related learning problems

  • Attention and behavioral disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and associated conditions including oppositional-defiant behavior, conduct problems, depression, and anxiety disorders

  • Tics, Tourette syndrome, and other habit disorders

  • Regulatory disorders including sleep disorders, feeding problems, discipline difficulties, complicated toilet-training issues, enuresis (bedwetting), and encopresis (soiling)

  • Developmental Disabilities including cerebral palsy, spina bifi da, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, and visual and hearing impairments

  • Delayed development in speech, language, motor skills, and thinking ability

  • Behavioral and developmental problems complicating the full range of pediatric chronic illnesses and disabling conditions (for example, genetic disorders, epilepsy, prematurity, diabetes, asthma, cancer)

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