Developmental Surveillance Resources
for Healthcare Providers
Providers: Developmental surveillance and screening are essential components of health supervision visits and should continue during COVID-19 in office and telehealth visits. Early intervention services are still available, so refer children with concerns and/or concerning screening results.
In addition to early childhood screenings, the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends developmental surveillanceexternal icon, a flexible, longitudinal, continuous, and cumulative process, at each health supervision visit to help identify children with developmental concerns. CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program has FREE parent-friendly milestone checklists and other resources for children 2 months to 5 years of age to support healthcare providers with this process.
CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. materials include developmental milestone checklists to help parents track milestones between visits and provide guidance about what steps to take if they have concerns, like talking with their child’s healthcare provider. They have been tested for clarity, ease of understanding, have an engaging design and are written at a fifth grade reading level. Encouraging parents to complete checklists can help with developmental surveillance during health supervision visits.
The checklists are
- Available within CDC’s free Milestone Tracker app
- Free to download and print in your office
- Available to order in limited quantities
- Available in English and Spanish, with some in simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, and other languages
- Able to be customized by adding your practice’s logo
View, print, or order milestone checklistspdf icon, CDC’s Milestone Tracker app, and other free resources to help with developmental surveillance at www.cdc.gov/ActEarly/Materials.
“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.
- Print and post FREE Milestone Tracker app posters pdf icon[387 KB, 1 Page, Print Only] in exam rooms; encourage families to download the app and complete a checklist.
- Review the app’s milestone summary during health supervision visits
- Print and give milestone checklists pdf icon[2 MB, 20 Pages, 508] to families who prefer paper or speak languages other than English or Spanish; laminate and reuse them as needed
- Use a web button to link your practice website to Learn the Signs. Act Early. resources
- Use prepared social media content to promote developmental monitoring at home
- Make the case with your colleagues for using materials routinely
- Share the Healthcare Provider Primer, that explains the benefits of using LTSAE materials in pediatric settings and how to access materials and easily integrate them within practices. Primer in English pdf icon[649 KB, 2 Pages, 508] Primer in Spanish pdf icon[761 KB, 2 Pages, 508]
- Include a PowerPoint slide ppt icon[PPT – 976 KB] featuring the Milestone Tracker app during your next presentation and share how it can be used to help with developmental surveillance.
Developmental surveillance and screening togetherexternal icon are more likely to identify the 1 in 6 children with a developmental disability than either one alone. Identifying these children is important so they can receive early intervention services that help improve skills, abilities, future school performance, and later success in life.
- Perform the 6 steps of developmental surveillance at each health supervision visit:
- Encourage parents to monitor milestones between visits and share results with you:
- Print and post FREE Milestone Tracker app posters pdf icon[387 KB, 1 Page, Print Only]in exam rooms; encourage families to download the app and complete a checklist.
- Print and give milestone checklists pdf icon[2 MB, 20 Pages, 508]to families who prefer paper or speak languages other than English or Spanish; laminate and reuse them as needed.
- Conduct early childhood screenings as recommended by the AAP, using validated screening toolsexternal icon at recommended ages and if surveillance reveals a concern.
- Refer children with concerning results for further evaluation AND to your state’s early intervention program.
These free resources can help healthcare providers obtain Continuous Medical Education (CME) and Maintenance of Certification (MOC), and implement a Quality Improvement (QI) project in healthcare settings.
The AAP offers this FREE online PediaLink course that highlights the importance of developmental surveillance as an essential component of the new recommendations in the clinical report titled, “Promoting Optimal Development: Identifying Infants and Young Children with Developmental Disorders Through Developmental Surveillance and Screening.” You do not need to be an AAP member to register and receive credit. This course will help pediatricians recognize the value of early identification and intervention when developmental delays are suspected, and to identify the key surveillance and screening steps to incorporate into practice. Participants are eligible for 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and 1 Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 point.
The AAP offers this FREE, self-paced, online PediaLink course to educate pediatric clinicians about evidence-based practices in caring for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). You do not need to be an AAP member to register and receive credit. The course consists of 7 units, each grounded in recommendations from the AAP clinical report, “Identification, Evaluation and Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorderexternal icon.” Learners may complete all units or select specific units they would like to complete based on their needs, capacity, and professional interests. Units within the course are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 points.
This toolkit was developed by CDC and AAP to assist providers with implementing a MOC part 4 project on developmental surveillance and screening in the office.
A study from the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatricsexternal icon suggests that LTSAE materials may help improve developmental surveillance by increasing parent-physician communication about development.
Early intervention contact information by state.
A tool developed by AAP and CDC on physical developmental delays and what to look for.
STAR Centerexternal icon
American Academy of Pediatrics’ Screening Technical Assistance and Resource Center for information on screening tools, practice resources, and technical assistance.
- A Screening Passport pdf iconexternal iconto print and use with families.
- A Healthcare provider guide pdf iconexternal iconto encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families.
Developmental Monitoring and Screening for Health Professionals
Access information on developmental monitoring and screening for health care providers from CDC.
AAP’s Clinical Reports Recommending Developmental Surveillance and Screening