Early identification of children with developmental disabilities can lead to treatment or amelioration of the severity of a disability and its impact on the functioning of the child and family. Because developmental screening is a process that selects those children who will receive the benefits of more intensive evaluation, or of treatment, all infants and children should be screened for developmental disabilities, otherwise some may be denied access to needed care. Successful early identification of developmental disabilities requires the pediatrician to be skilled in the use of screening techniques and of developmental surveillance, to actively seek parental concerns about development, and to create linkages with available resources in the community. Because community systems vary from one locality to another and may change over time, the physician's information must be updated on a regular basis. Children and families are best served when the primary pediatrician providing health supervision services collaborates with the tracking and intervention services available in the community.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics