Delays in child development can be hard to notice. Some mild developmental problems might even go unnoticed until elementary school. However, detecting issues early, such as with language and emotional development, can help a child catch up with other children of the same age.
One way to detect issues is through developmental screenings. These screenings can help show if your child is developmentally where they should be.
In this blog, our providers at Pediatric Practitioners of Oklahoma in Claremore, Oklahoma, explain what developmental screenings involve and what they can reveal.
What are developmental screenings?
Developmental screenings — which are performed at different ages — consist of one or two parts: a developmental questionnaire and/or tests performed by our providers.
To ensure your child is developing well, you may need to complete a developmental questionnaire. Our providers will ask questions about your child’s behavior, emotions, and language skills. If developmental delays are detected, our providers will refer you to specialists who can help your child better manage their delay.
Once the questionnaire is completed — if needed — our providers will perform their own testing. During the physical exam, our staff will check the following:
- Weight and height
- Hearing and sight
- Lungs and heart
- Motor skills
During the physical, our staff will check all the systems of your child to ensure they’re meeting the developmental milestones. Your child’s medical history and current symptoms will also be taken into consideration during the physical.
In some cases, further testing may be needed. For example, if your child has difficulty gaining weight and/or growing in height, they may have a thyroid issue or a nutrient deficiency that our providers can test for.
How often should a child undergo a developmental screening?
Specialists recommend screenings for autism at 18 and 24 months and for other developmental problems at 9, 18, and 30 months. The answers you provide on the questionnaires can give our providers a bigger picture of the overall development of your child.
Numerous studies suggest that early detection and treatment of disorders, such as autism, can significantly improve symptoms. At younger ages, the brain is still developing, and the plasticity of the brain can make it easier to teach children coping skills for their symptoms.
Children suffering from autism who undergo treatment before age 2 often have a higher IQ and better communication skills than autistic children without treatment.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be diagnosed as early as age 4. At this age, ADHD is usually managed with the help of behavioral therapy.
Help your child develop well
If you want to see if your child is on track, we can help you get started on a developmental screening. If the screening reveals anything, we can provide the tools your child needs to develop well.
To learn more, call 918-626-1186 or book an appointment online with Pediatric Practitioners of Oklahoma today.