Developmental Milestones and Screening

Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. M. Vijayalakshmi, M.D (Peds), M.D (USA), F.A.A.P

What is child development?

A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts against normally harmless proteins in foods. The reaction usually happens shortly after a food is eaten. Food allergy reactions can vary from mild to very severe.

What is developmental screening?

Developmental screening is a procedure designed to identify children who should receive more intensive assessment or diagnosis, for potential developmental delays. It can allow for earlier detection of delays and improve child health and well-being for identified children.

Doctors use developmental screening to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have problems. Your child's doctor may ask you questions or talk and play with your child during an exam to see how he or she learns, speaks, behaves, and moves. Since there is no lab or blood test to tell if your child may have a delay, the developmental screening will help tell if your child needs to see a specialist.

What is a developmental delay? Will my child just grow out of it?

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye bye" are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving (crawling, walking, etc.). A developmental delay is when your child does not reach these milestones at the same time as other children the same age. If your child is not developing properly, there are things you can do that may help. Most of the time, a developmental problem is not something your child will "grow out of" on his or her own.

Why is developmental screening important?

Many children with behavioral or developmental disabilities are missing vital opportunities for early detection and intervention.

Many children with developmental delays are not being identified early.In the United States, 17% of children have a developmental or behavioral disability such as autism, mental retardation and ADHD. In addition, many children have delays in language or other areas, which also impact school readiness. However, less than 50% of these children are identified as having a problem before starting school, by which time significant delays may have already occurred and opportunities for treatment have been missed.

How can I help my child's development?

Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest are very important for children's health and development. Providing a safe and loving home and spending time with your child – playing, singing, reading, and even just talking – can also make a big difference in his or her development.