Close to One in Three Kids Are Screened for Developmental Delays

Posted February 10, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Close to one in three kids are screened for developmental delays.

From 2015 to 2016, 30% of chil­dren under the age of 6 — 2.6 mil­lion kids across the nation — were screened for devel­op­men­tal delays.

These screen­ings, rec­om­mend­ed by the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics, involve gath­er­ing feed­back from par­ent and guardians about a young child’s devel­op­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and social behav­iors. The like­li­hood that ear­ly screen­ings occur varies wide­ly by state. In Mis­sis­sip­pi — the state with the low­est screen­ing rates — just 17% of chil­dren were screened for devel­op­men­tal delays, accord­ing to their par­ents. At the oth­er end of the data spec­trum sits Ore­gon, where 59% of young kids were screened.

Devel­op­men­tal screen­ings are an effec­tive and low-cost way to assess a child’s behav­ioral and health needs. Kids who receive ear­ly screen­ings are more like­ly to be referred for need­ed care, accord­ing to research, and these ear­ly ser­vices can play a crit­i­cal role in sup­port­ing a child’s ongo­ing well-being and growth.

Access more health and edu­ca­tion data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center:

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