What a Developmental Screening Can Tell You About Your Child

What a Developmental Screening Can Tell You About Your Child

As a parent, you watch your child develop new skills on an almost daily basis. In the early years of life, your child starts to talk, walk, and learn, while growing at an impressive pace.

As your child grows, it’s important to notice whether they’re meeting these exciting milestones at the expected times. By getting your child regular developmental screenings at Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, you can get any needs your child may have identified and addressed quickly.

Understand more from Rainilda Valencia, MD, a board-certified pediatrician, of what you can learn about your child by attending a developmental screening.

Understanding developmental screenings

Developmental screenings are an important tool in monitoring and measuring your child’s overall development. This formal process, which is conducted by Dr. Valencia and team members Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, identifies any potential needs in your child's development early on, allowing interventions to be put into place quickly, while your child is young.

Dr. Valencia also assesses your child’s development at their well-child exams, but young children grow and develop quickly and need additional monitoring. In addition to attending annual well-child exams, Dr. Valencia advises that every child come to a developmental screening at 9, 18, 24, and 30 months of age.

What you can learn at your child’s developmental screenings

Developmental screenings provide you the opportunity to get answers to any questions or concerns you have about your child’s specific developmental needs, as well as learn significant information about your child’s physical and cognitive growth. 

Physical growth

Like at well-child exams, Dr. Valencia checks to see if your child is growing and moving as expected. This includes checking their height, weight, and overall health as well as gross motor milestones like learning to walk.

Language abilities

From evaluations performed by our team as well as your report as a parent, our team measures your child’s speech and language abilities to see if their acquisition is on track. This can involve seeing if they say words correctly, understand language, and have acquired age-appropriate language pragmatics.

Cognition and learning

At a developmental screening, our team makes note of your child’s progress in learning in comparison to what is typical of their age. We might look at how your child shows curiosity or plays with toys.

Emotional and behavioral growth

Seeing if your child displays age-expected behaviors and emotions is also an important part of our developmental screenings. We measure or ask you to describe areas such as emotional self-regulation and ability to respond to and interact with family members or peers.

Next steps after a developmental screening

The next steps after a developmental screening depend on what our team finds at the screening. If your child is progressing as expected, our team encourages you to keep monitoring their development and to attend screenings and exams at the recommended times to ensure they remain on track.

If our providers identify a developmental concern, Dr. Valencia may recommend further screenings and evaluations, as well as a treatment plan to help your child catch up. By making a diagnosis like a developmental delay, autism, or ADD and ADHD early, your child can access the support they need from a young age.

To schedule a developmental screening or discuss any questions you have about your child’s development, contact Valencia Pediatrics today.

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