As new parents, we’ve all asked ourselves this question. Whether with movement or babbles or play, we watch and we wonder. If you’ve watched and wondered and you still have questions about your child not meeting developmental milestones, ask their doctor for a developmental screening. We’ll tell you more here.
What is a Developmental Screening?
Your child’s doctor will ask some questions about your concerns and your child’s development to see if they need some extra help.
There are several different developmental screening tools doctors can use. They are questionnaires that ask about different categories of your child’s development:
- Gross Motor — Large movements like crawling or walking
- Fine Motor — Small movements like grabbing a toy or holding a spoon
- Problem-solving — Figuring out how to get what they want
- Personal/Social — How they interact with other people
When should my child get screenings?
- Any time you notice something that worries you
- At least at these ages: 9 months, 18 months, and 24 or 30 months
- Some screening tools suggest these ages: 2 months, 4 months, then every 4-6 months until age 5
What is a Developmental Clinic?
There are some clinics that specialize in testing children for developmental delays and other issues. These places have lots of experience testing children in more depth for developmental issues. While your child’s doctor can do a brief developmental screening, these clinics can do a more thorough assessment.
What happens during a developmental assessment?
- They will do a thorough evaluation of different aspects of a child’s development and medical status.
- For example: physical, psychological, speech and communication, learning disabilities, autism, etc.
- They will tell you what further tests your child may need, and suggest what to do next.
- They can give you the test results and paperwork with your child’s diagnosis (if there is one). You’ll need these when you apply for services from the state or your parish school system.