Developmental Screening Initiative
The Louisiana Developmental Screening Initiative seeks to improve early detection of developmental delays and disabilities in children by promoting universal developmental screening in pediatric primary care for children ages 0-5. As defined and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), developmental screening entails using a validated, standardized tool during well-child visits at regular intervals to determine if a child is meeting developmental milestones at various ages and stages. Doing this helps physicians identify developmental delays and disabilities early, and provides an important avenue for referring children to early intervention services. Early intervention can help minimize delays and disabilities and maximize children’s ability to learn and thrive.
The Louisiana Developmental Screening Guidelines (LDSG) provide recommendations for screening periodicity and instruments that align with the Bright Futures guidelines from the AAP. The guidelines provide a short list of recommended screening tools across several domains and a periodicity table showing when screenings should be performed. In alignment with the AAP recommendations, the LDSG guidelines expand screening beyond developmental milestones and autism to include screening for social-emotional problems, environmental risk, and parental depression.
The Initiative created a Developmental Screening Toolkit to help medical practices implement the LDSG and integrate developmental screening services into their day-to-day practice. The toolkit uses a quality improvement (QI) framework, which allows practitioners to systematically improve the way health care is delivered to patients. It contains step-by-step information contained in webpages, instructional videos, and downloadable worksheets. It is designed to house all of the information and tools you will need to put the LDSG into practice in one, convenient spot. The team can provide information and customized training on how your specific practice can implement developmental screening. Check out the Implementation Training and Support page of the toolkit to learn more about these offerings.