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What to Expect from Your Child’s First Developmental Screening

What to Expect from Your Child’s First Developmental Screening

Most parents are filled with joy — and, ironically — worry as soon as their child is born. Are they eating enough? Are they sleeping enough? Should they be crawling or sitting or speaking by now? Every child develops at their own pace, but certain developmental milestones should be happening at specific age ranges. 

Developmental screenings can help you understand those milestones and if your child is meeting them. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental and behavioral screening for all children during their well-child visits at the ages of 9 months, 18 months, and 30 months

At Sima Stein, MD, located in San Jose, California, board-certified pediatrician Dr. Stein can evaluate your child’s development during their annual physical or when you have concerns. One of the benefits of early and regular developmental screenings is that these assessments can help identify a problem early when intervention is most successful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 children have at least one developmental delay

What happens at your child’s first developmental screening?

Dr. Stein evaluates and examines your child at every annual checkup and answers questions. A developmental screening, however, is a more formal evaluation. These screenings assess your child’s developmental progress in critical areas, which include motor skills, language and communication, social-emotional development, and cognitive skills.

A developmental screening consists of developmental and behavioral questions for you to answer regarding your child’s development, language, movement, thinking, behavior, and emotions. Additionally, Dr. Stein will ask your child questions and observe them and may ask you to interact or play with your child.  

Some milestones for 9 months old toddlers include:

While you don’t have to prepare your child for this visit, it’s always a good idea to come prepared with any parenting or developmental questions. 

What a developmental screening can reveal

A developmental screening can’t diagnose a particular condition like autism or a learning disability. But, it can detect a delay that indicates further testing may be necessary. 

Every child develops at their own pace, and most delays resolve on their own. Depending on the screening results, Dr. Stein may recommend at-home developmental monitoring or refer you to a specialist.  

Ready to schedule your child’s first developmental screening? Call the office of Sima Stein, MD, or request an appointment through our online scheduler. 


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