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.
Healthcare providers can ensure children with developmental delays and disabilities receive the help they need at the time that intervention is most effective by:
- 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
- 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.
- Conducting developmental screenings and autism-specific screenings as recommended by the AAP using a validated screening tool; and
- Referring children with concerning screening results for further evaluation AND to your state’s early intervention services (www.cdc.gov/FindEI).
Surveillance Makes a Difference!
A recent study showed that children receiving developmental monitoring and screening together were more likely to receive early intervention compared to children receiving screening alone, monitoring alone, or neither one.
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
- 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 – 1 MB] Primer in Spanish [PDF – 2 MB ]
- Include a PowerPoint slide [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 Center
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!
View the healthcare provider guide that addresses how to talk with parents, where to go for help and includes the Compendium of Screening Measures for Young Children to select the most appropriate screening tool for the population served, and a Screening Passport to print and use with families.
- Comprehensive Toolkit
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
- Identifying Infants and Young Children with Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening
- Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder – detailed information on signs and symptoms of ASDs and an algorithm for autism 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.
- 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)
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.
- Page last reviewed: March 13, 2018
- Page last updated: March 13, 2018
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