About Developmental Screening

Who should use this web site?

This site is for primary care providers considering or planning to start screening children for developmental needs using a validated tool. Whether you know you should change but don’t know where to start, or are still thinking about how this change could work in your setting, this website will help. It includes

  • Background information about why validated screening is necessary
  • How to choose the right tools for your office
  • How to set up your office for this new practice
  • What different tools cost
  • How much time different tools take

And much, much more.

How should I use this web site?

There are three ways this site can be used.

  1. Providers ready to screen who just need the vital information should go to What you want and need to know to find succinct information on cost, time requirements, and office organization.
  2. Providers thinking about starting to use validated developmental screening in the office should go to Information to help move forward to find more detailed information about the need to screen, published tools, overcoming office obstacles, and more.
  3. Providers who haven’t heard much about developmental screening might prefer a complete, stepwise approach, from an introduction to screening and the need to screen through the process of referring identified children. The "back" and "next" buttons at the bottom of each page (beginning from the introduction) guide you through the tool kit in a linear fashion.

Is this web site promoting a specific tool?

No, we are not promoting a specific screening tool. Objective information about several tools is offered, with references and links where more detail is available. We share our experiences at Children’s Hospital Boston so you can benefit from what we did right and what we did wrong, though we know that every office has its own specific needs.

Who created this website?

Content was gathered from a number of reliable sources by Alison Schonwald MD, FAAP, a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau funded the creation of this web site, consonant with the mission of Bright Futures. The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council funded the implementation of screening in the Children’s Hospital Primary Care Center, the home of this site’s webmaster.

Who can I contact about this web site?

For questions or concerns related to information on this site, please contact Alison.schowald@childrens.harvard.edu.