They’re a quick and easy way to show if a child is developing typically for his age, and to spot possible delays at a time when they’re most easily addressed.
For Parents as Teachers families, a developmental screening canprovide a snapshot of their child’s strengths and weaknesses and identify the skills s/he may develop next so they can talk with their parent educator about good activities for building those skills. Most often the results will show that the child is doing very well!
But in the United States, nearly 17% of school age children have a developmental or behavioral disability. Fewer than half of them are identified and get help before they enter school. When a child receives the specialized attention or intervention he needs at an early age, it is much more likely that these skills and behaviors will improve.
The American Academy of Pediatrics supports early detection of problems in all areas of health and development and recommends that “all infants and young children should be screened for developmental delays.”
Nationwide, Parents as Teachers parent educators detected about 30,000 developmental delays in a recent program year. That’s the population of a small town!
Parents as Teachers screenings are part of a comprehensive medical home approach where care is coordinated across all aspects of the community to ensure children receive proper care and attention to their needs.