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:

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.

  1. 6 steps of developmental surveillance at each health supervision visit:
    1. review checklists/developmental history;
    2. ask about concerns;
    3. assess strengths and risks;
    4. observe the child;
    5. document; and
    6. share results with others (early childhood educators, WIC providers, home visitors, etc.).
  2. Encourage parents to monitor milestones between visits and share results with you:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  3. Conduct early childhood screenings as recommended by the AAP, using validated screening toolsexternal icon at recommended ages and if surveillance reveals a concern.
  4. Refer children with concerning results for further evaluation AND to your state’s early intervention program.
Surveillance Makes a Difference!
American Academy of Pediatrics

“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.

A Free Tool For Surveillance!

Medscape HCP

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

Milestone Tracker web button

Resources for Developmental Surveillance and Screening

Woman doctor talking with her two patients

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.