Developmental Surveillance Resources
for Healthcare Providers
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental surveillance. CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” has FREE parent-friendly resources to help!
CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. milestone checklists make developmental surveillance easy. The checklists:
- Help you systematically conduct developmental surveillance as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)external icon
- Correspond with health supervision visits 2 months to 5 years
- Are based on developmental milestones from the AAP
- Are completed by parents, preparing them for more accurate responses to developmental screeners
Developmental surveillance and screening together 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.
- 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.
“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.
Share Materials with Families
You can provide customized parent-friendly resources to families by adding your practice’s logo and contact information. Request customizable files from ActEarly@cdc.gov and print them in your office.
Most materials are available in English and Spanish, many in simplified Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, some in other languages.
- Promote CDC’s FREE Milestone Tracker app for families by printing a flyer for your clinic pdf icon[1 MB, 2 Pages, Print Only].
- FREE materials: print or order (in limited quantities) in English and Spanish.
- Use a web button to link your practice website to “Learn the Signs. Act Early.”
- Click to learn how some providers have successfully integrated materials into pediatric practices to reach families.
- View a webinarexternal icon featuring a healthcare provider, parent, and early care and education provider discussing the importance of working together to effectively monitor child development.
A Free Tool For Surveillance!
Watch this Medscape CommentaryExternalexternal iconabout the importance of developmental surveillance and CDC’s Milestone Tracker app—a tool that can make conducting surveillance easier.
Tell Your Colleagues
- Share the Health Care Provider Primer, a one-page handout (PDF) that explains the benefits of using LTSAE materials in pediatric settings and provides information on 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.
Resources for Developmental Surveillance and Screening
- Early Intervention
View early intervention contact information by state.
- STAR Centerexternal icon
Visit American Academy of Pediatrics’ Screening Technical Assistance and Resource Center for information on screening tools, practice resources, and technical assistance.
- Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!external icon
View the healthcare provider guide pdf icon[272 KB, 10 Pages, Print Only]external icon that addresses how to talk with parents, where to go for help and includes the Compendium of Screening Measures for Young Children pdf icon[918 KB, 115 Pages, Print Only]external icon to select the most appropriate screening tool for the population served, and a Screening Passport pdf icon[1.16 MB, 6 Pages, Print Only]external icon to print and use with families.
- Comprehensive Toolkitexternal icon
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.
- Developmental Monitoring and Screening for Health Professionals
Access information on developmental monitoring and screening for health care providers from CDC. Includes information about developmental milestones, how to incorporate screening into your practice, and more.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Reports
- Promoting Optimal Development: Identifying Infants and Young Children With Developmental Disorders Through Developmental Surveillance and Screeningexternal icon
- Identifying Infants and Young Children with Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screeningexternal icon
- Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorderexternal icon – detailed information on signs and symptoms of ASDs and an algorithm for autism screening.
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.
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. 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. A classroom based curriculum is also available for healthcare providers who teach nurses, medical students, or residents.
- 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.
- Screening and Diagnosis
View information on ASD and developmental screening recommendations for health care providers from CDC.
- M-CHAT- R/F (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised, with Follow- Up)external icon
Download the M-CHAT-R/F, instructions and permissions for use, and scoring instructions.
- For more information on specific conditions:
- View a parent tool external iconon physical developmental delays and what to look for, developed by AAP and CDC.