News and Updates

Developmental Screenings are key

Every parent wants to raise a healthy, happy child. Because children grow and learn on their own time tables, it can be hard to know if your child is behind in certain areas of development. Monitoring and being aware of your child’s progress is the best way to ensure he reaches his full potential in the early years of development and as he journeys through life.

Standardized screening is associated with modestly enhanced self-reported identification of children with developmental disabilities. (SCAAP)

According to Wieder (2012), “One strategy many states are using to improve achievement and help prevent over-identification [of students with disabilities in later childhood] is giving all students baseline assessments at an early age to spot and treat learning disabilities.” Results of early screenings are used to provide interventions that can be successful in addressing the unique needs of children and reducing the likelihood for further special education services. In addition to serving the educational needs of these children, it is often more cost effective for both states and families. (ics) 2

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children receive at least three screenings prior to their 3rd birthday. Most developmental screening tools identify areas of development such as Gross Motor, Fine Motor, and Communication based on specific milestones and timeframes of development (e.g., 6 months, 12 months).  These tools rely on family members or others familiar with a child’s development to complete a series of questions or statements, which generally requires approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

According to reports from the field (National Survey of Children’s Health, 2012) the majority of South Carolina children under age 5 do not receive developmental screenings during routine health visits. While some may receive screenings through their early education and care programs, many children with developmental issues do not receive screening, evaluation, or services until they enter kindergarten.

If you are unsure of next steps, are still awaiting services from the referral source, are experiencing time constraints in having your child evaluated, or need support in finding a medical home or pediatrician, please call our Family Information Center so we can help!

The Medical Home (also known as Patient or Family Centered Medical Home) is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care that facilitates partnerships between patients, clinicians, medical staff, and families. It is a medical practice organized to produce higher quality care and improved cost efficiency. In a medical home:

  • Patients have a relationship with a personal physician.
  • A practice-based care team takes collective responsibility for the patient’s ongoing care.
  • The care team is responsible for providing and arranging all the patient’s health care needs.
  • Patients can expect care that is coordinated across care settings and disciplines.
  • Quality is measured and improved as part of daily work flow.
  • Patients experience enhanced access and communication.
  • Practices move towards use of EHRs, registries, and other clinical support systems.

The medical home provides a large majority of the care within the practice, referring as appropriate, and working with other providers on the health care team both within and outside the practice. There is extensive evidence documenting improvements in quality and efficiency when patients have a usual source of care through a primary care practice. The medical home design builds on that relationship.