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Information for Healthcare Providers

CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” has FREE research-based, parent-friendly resources to assist healthcare providers with developmental surveillance from age 2 months to 5 years!

Using CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. materials in your practice can:

  • Help you meet the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation for developmental surveillance at each health supervision visit.
  • Prepare families to provide more accurate responses to validated developmental screeners recommended by the AAP.
  • Lay a foundation for engaged and efficient conversations with families about developmental progress or concerns.
  • Aid in early identification of the 1 in 6 children with a developmental delay or disability so they can benefit from early intervention services shown to improve skills, abilities, future school performance, and later success in life.

“Learn the Signs. Act Early.” One Doctor’s Story

Janet Siddiqui, M.D., is a pediatrician and office medical director at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Odenton, Maryland.

Healthcare providers can ensure children with developmental delays and disabilities receive the help they need at the time that intervention is most effective by:

  1. Performing developmental surveillance at each health supervision visit and encouraging parents to monitor milestones between visits;
    • Provide Milestone checklists as anticipatory guidance; ask families to complete the checklists before each health supervision visit to facilitate developmental surveillance discussion
    • Welcome newborns with a Milestone Moments booklet; refer to it at every health supervision visit
    • Print and post a free flyer encouraging families to use CDC’s Milestone Tracker app to track and quickly share developmental progress at visits
  2. Making connections with childcare providers, directly or through parents, to encourage use of these resources so they can share additional information with you about a child’s developmental progress.
  3. Conducting developmental screenings and autism-specific screenings as recommended by the AAP using a validated screening tool; and
  4. Referring children with concerning screening results for further evaluation AND to your state’s early intervention services (www.cdc.gov/FindEI).

CDC Director, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, on the Milestone Tracker app

Share Materials with Families

Most materials are available in English and Spanish, many in simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, some in other languages. Provide customized resources by adding your practice’s logo and contact information. Request customizable files from ActEarly@cdc.gov and print them in your office.

Tell Your Colleagues

Resources for Developmental Surveillance and Screening

Resources on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities

  • Autism Case Training
    Autism Case Training (ACT) is a web based continuing education online course offering FREE CME and American Board of Pediatrics MOC (Pt 2; 20 pts). This course is designed to help primary health care providers gain knowledge and skills to improve early identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ensure timely and appropriate care.
  • Autism Information
    View resources from CDC, including information on research being conducted by CDC, other federal agencies, and states. Additional information includes resources and activities for children to help them learn about autism.
  • M-CHAT- R/F (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised, with Follow- Up)
    Download the M-CHAT-R/F, instructions and permissions for use, and scoring instructions.
  • View a parent tool on physical developmental delays and what to look for, developed by AAP and CDC.
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