Dr. Sima Stein is a well-respected pediatrician with offices in San Jose, California, who encourages parents to view an annual physical as an excellent time to evaluate your child’s development as well as their physical health. Routine developmental screening can identify a problem early, when intervention is often most successful. Whether it’s time for your child’s annual physical or you have concerns about your child’s development, call Sima Stein, MD today to schedule an appointment or book your visit online.
When you have an infant or toddler, you can expect to hear the term “developmental milestones” from friends with kids, relatives with good intentions, and your pediatrician at each well-child visit.
Doctors use these milestones as markers to determine whether your child is developing as expected. They include physical, social, and emotional development and are categorized by a range rather than a specific age since no two children develop at the same rate. For instance, doctors expect your baby to master the art of rolling over sometime between 4 and 6 months.
Your child’s ability to sit without support, smile and engage with people other than parents, and verbally express needs by a certain age are all signs of growth that Dr. Stein uses to evaluate your child’s developmental progress.
She takes time during well-child visits to ask you questions about your child’s activities at home and interacts directly with your child during the exam to monitor progress since the last visit.
Developmental monitoring is essentially an informal assessment while developmental screening is much more formal and focused.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your child undergo developmental screening at 9 months, 18 months, 24 to 30 months, and then as necessary per your request or your pediatrician’s recommendations.
For older children, Dr. Stein typically includes developmental screening at annual physical exams, sooner should parents, teachers, or caregivers notice concerning behavior or developmental difficulties.
The assessment tools used for developmental screening, which also includes behavioral assessments, are typically questionnaires or checklists that ask questions about your child’s language, movement, thinking, behavior, and emotions.
Developmental screening is not used to diagnose a condition. It’s used instead to identify potential delays that may indicate an underlying issue requiring further evaluation. For instance, delays in motor development, such as the ability to stand, walk, crawl, might indicate an underlying neuromuscular issue. A speech deficit may indicate a hearing problem.
Potential developmental delays or behavioral problems screening can help identify include: