Pediatricians—Often Families’ First Stop
When parents have a concern, the professional they are most likely to approach is their child’s primary care physician. It is important that your child’s physician is using a validated screening tool like Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3™) to be sure he or she is accurately catching children who should receive further evaluation for developmental delays.
Ask your child’s pediatrician to conduct screening using a research-validated developmental screening tool such as ASQ. Read tips for sharing your concerns from First Signs.
Surprisingly, research shows that when physicians rely on their professional observations alone—as many do1—they identify fewer than 30% of children later discovered to have developmental delays2,3. But, when they use a validated developmental screening tool, they increase that figure to 70%–80%4.
Given the importance of early identification and intervention for children who have delays, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that primary care physicians conduct screenings at well-child visits.
If you have concerns about your child’s behavior or social-emotional development, be sure to also ask your child’s pediatrician to conduct screening using the Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional, Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2™).
 Radecki, L., Sand-Loud, N., O’Connor, K.G., Sharp, S., & Olson, L.M. (2011). Trends in the use of standardized tools for developmental screening in early childhood: 2002-2009. Pediatrics, 128, 1, 14-18.
 Hix-Small, H., Marks, K., & Nickel, R. (2007, August). Impact of implementing developmental screening at 12 months and 24 months in a pediatric practice, Pediatrics, 120(2), 381–389.
 Glascoe, F.P. (2000). Early detection of developmental and behavioral problems. Pediatrics in Review, 21(8), 272–280.
 Squires, J., Nickel, R.E., & Eisert, D. (1996). Early detection of developmental problems: Strategies for monitoring young children in the practice setting. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 17, 420–427.