A brief test using a screening tool does not confirm a developmental delay or provide a diagnosis, but it indicates if a child is on the right development track or if a specialist should take a closer look. If the screening tool identifies an area of concern, a formal developmental evaluation may be needed. This formal evaluation is a more in-depth look at a child’s development and must be done by a trained specialist. The specialist may observe the child, give the child a structured test, ask the parents or caregivers questions, or ask them to fill out questionnaires. The results of this formal evaluation determines whether a child needs special treatments or early intervention services or both.

FOR Children with suspected developmental delays or conditions
BY Developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, early interventionist, child psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, or special educator
WHEN Whenever there is a concern
PURPOSE To find out is your child has a developmental delay or condition
To find out if your child needs specific treatment or early intervention services or both
HOW With a detailed examination, formal assessment tools, observation, and checklists from parents and other caregivers, often in combination, depending on the area of concern