Developmental and behavioural problems are estimated to affect 12 to 16 percent of children in the United States.
Since well-child visits are typically scheduled for 15 to 30 minutes – an insufficient time for assessment of all areas of development in addition to administration of vaccines and discussion of other age-related topics – it’s not surprising that paediatricians fail to identify up to 80 percent of children with developmental delays in a timely manner. In the study, “Impact of Implementing Developmental Screening at 12 and 24 Months in a Pediatric Practice,” a group of 1,428 caregivers and children attending their 12 or 24-month well-child visits between April 2005 and March 2006 completed the ASQ, a child development screening questionnaire. Parents answered questions relating to five areas of development: communication, problem-solving, gross and fine motor skills, and personal-social skills. As a result, referral rates for continued evaluation increased by 224 percent. The questionnaire was found to be beneficial, as 36 percent of the referred patients qualified for special education services, while 41 percent continued with closer observation.(Source: Pediatrics : American Academy of Pediatrics : August 2007)