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Recommendations and Guidelines

Healthcare provider checking small child

Developmental Screening Policy Statement

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), July 2006

Early identification of developmental disorders is critical to the well-being of children and their families. It is an integral function of the primary care medical home and an appropriate responsibility of all pediatric health care professionals.

AAP recommends that developmental surveillance be incorporated at every well-child preventive care visit. Any concerns raised during surveillance should be promptly addressed with standardized developmental screening tests. In addition, screening tests should be administered regularly at the 9-, 18-, and 30-month visits.

The early identification of developmental problems should lead to further developmental and medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, including early developmental intervention. Children diagnosed with developmental disorders should be identified as children with special health care needs, and chronic-condition management should be initiated. Identification of a developmental disorder and its underlying etiology may also drive a range of treatment planning, from medical treatment of the child to family planning for his or her parents.

Link to policy statement

Autism A.L.A.R.M. Guidelines

CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and First Signs

The A.L.A.R.M. guidelines, adapted from key policy statements of the AAP and American Academy of Neurology, were developed in order to establish standard practices among physicians, to simplify the screening process, and to ensure that all children receive routine and appropriate screenings and timely interventions.

Link to Guidelines