Developmental Screening (cont.)
In this Article
Why is developmental screening important?
When a developmental delay is not recognized early, children must wait to get the help they need. This can make it hard for them to learn when they start school. In the United States, 17 percent of children have a developmental or behavioral disability such as autism, intellectual disability (also known as mental retardation), or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In addition, many children have delays in language or other areas. But, less than half of children with problems are identified before starting school. During this time, the child could have received help for these problems and may even have entered school more ready to learn.
I have concerns that my child could have a developmental delay. Whom can I contact in my state to get a developmental assessment for my child?
Talk to your child's doctor or nurse if you have concerns about how your child is developing. If you or your doctor think there could be a problem, you can take your child to see a developmental pediatrician or other specialist, and you can contact your local early intervention agency (for children under 3) or public school (for children 3 and older) for help. To find out who to speak to in your area, you can contact the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by logging on to www.nichcy.org/states.htm. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has links to information for families at (www.cdc.gov/actearly). If there is a problem, it is very important to get your child help as soon as possible.
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