Developmental and behavioral screening can help identify developmental delays or behavior problems that may require further testing. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental screening for children at 9 months, 18 months, and 30 months, and then as necessary. The benefit of regular early testing is that if a problem is identified, the child can receive intervention early on when it’s most effective.
At Sima Stein, MD, board-certified pediatrician Dr. Sima Stein performs the recommended AAP screenings and yearly screenings for older children during their annual checkups or sooner if parents or teachers notice behavior or developmental problems.
Dr. Stein helps children feel comfortable during the screening process so that they answer the questions accurately, without fear of nervousness. What happens during a developmental and behavioral screening? Dr. Stein explains what goes on during this process so you know what to expect.
Developmental and behavioral screening steps
First of all, you don’t have to prepare or bring anything to this appointment other than your child. During this visit, Dr. Stein will ask a series of questions to ensure that your child is reaching the appropriate milestones and also to detect behavior problems.
The questions and checklists cover your child’s language, movement, thinking, behavior, and emotions. In most cases, the parent and child will answer the questions to the best of their ability when the child is old enough to talk. Otherwise, the parent will answer, for example, questions about the child’s social interactions, language skills, and gross and fine motor skills. Motor skills relate to the child’s ability to move muscles, big and small.
What behavior or developmental problems does this screening test detect?
While a developmental screening can’t diagnose a condition, it can identify a problem or delay that may indicate an underlying condition that needs further evaluation. Some of the issues this screening can help determine include:
- Learning disabilities
- Speech or language problems
- Hearing or vision impairment
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Social or emotional disorders
- Oppositional defiant disorder
Every child reaches developmental milestones at different times, but this screening helps identify if the milestone is reached outside of a normal range. Similarly, every child has a distinct personality and temperament, but this screening can help identify behavior that may be problematic and require further observation or testing.
Are you concerned about your child’s development or behavior? Click here to contact the office of Sima Stein, MD, by calling or requesting an appointment online.