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Developmental Screening



Developmental Milestones are skills or age-specific tasks, like smiling, walking, talking and waving bye-bye, that most children of the same age can do.

Each child develops at his/her own pace and therefore there is a wide age range for meeting milestones. Milestones met within this range are considered typical or within normal.

If your child is unable to perform the tasks or skills and is beyond the typical age range, don’t wait! Contact your child’s doctor right away to discuss your concerns and ask for an evaluation. 



What is “Typical” Development?






To see if your child is developing on track free downloadable, developmental milestone checklists in Spanish and English can be found here.





Take the Developmental Milestones Quiz to see how     much you know about your child’s development!




Check out Zero To Three  for information and tools to foster healthy brain development in your child.









Explore their Baby Brain Map to learn about your child’s brain and how it grows and develops. 




There’s an app for that!


 Zero to Three: Let's Play app available on both   

Google Play and iTunes.


Great developmentally appropriate ideas for parents to keep little ones interested, entertained and learning, especially during regular routine activities like mealtime, bedtime, and bath time.





Developmental Screening/Assessment

Use of a screening tool is designed to detect children that may need referral for a more thorough assessment and possible early intervention services. 

Developmental Screening is a short, simple assessment of your child’s abilities at a particular moment in time.  It can be completed at home by the parent, which is often preferred, or in the clinic by the health care provider.


Developmental screening is administered to infants, toddlers, and young children to:

·         Ensure learning and development are on track

·         Detect possible delays in development as early as possible

·         Inform parents and providers of the need for a more in depth assessment

·         Connect children and families with the interventions needed to prevent or decrease long term problems in learning, health, and social/emotional well-being

·         Increase parents and caretakers understanding and awareness of developmental milestones and to foster healthy development. 






Developmental screening is only a screening and does not diagnose your child with a delay!





There are several screening tools that your child’s health care provider may choose to use. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and the Parent’s Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) are valid and reliable tools that your provider may use.


The ASQ is designed to be completed by parents either at home or in the clinic, while the PEDS is designed to be completed in the clinic setting by the physician.  They are both quick, easy to administer, and usually only takes 10- 15 minutes to complete.  




The Survey of Wellbeing of Young Children (SWYC) is a developmental screening tool for children under the age of 5. The tool is designed to be completed by parents at home, is quick, easy, and completely free. Find it here.


Regardless of the screening tool used, areas of child development that should be covered are:






·         Communication – language, spoken and heard

·         Gross Motor – jumping, kicking, running

·         Fine Motor – tying shoes, stringing beads

·         Problem Solving –doing something repeatedly in order to “figure it out”

·         Personal-Social – emotional control, making friends




At Parenthelp123 , a division of Help Me Grow Washington,  parents can print a free, age appropriate ASQ  screening or you can call 1-800-322-2588 to complete at home and take to your child’s next well child check.



Information on child growth and development, and games and activities to promote healthy learning and growth are available as well!


We know in order to grow healthy children; families need safe, stable environments, good nutrition, and access to care.





Help Me Grow WA is not only the go to place for developmental resources, but it is also a great place for Washington families to connect with local available community resources and apply for any services needed, like health care coverage, food assistance, or child care referrals. 



 Is your child under 36 months?




Contact the local early intervention service provider, to have a free age appropriate ASQ mailed to you and to schedule a screening assessment with a family resource coordinator.    



Is your child is over 36 months?








Contact your local school district to set up an assessment for developmental screening.



Why Early Screening Is So Important?


·         90% of brain development occurs by the time a child reaches the age of five. The brain is growing faster than at any other time in a child’s life making this a critical time for learning and development. 

·         Physical, cognitive, and social-emotional skills are being learned and expanded upon as developmental milestones are reached.

·         The experiences a child has and the environment in which he is growing have a fundamental impact on development and lay the foundation for all future learning and development to follow.  

·         Slight developmental delays can be difficult to detect without a validated screening tool, yet can have a tremendous impact on overall future success.

·         Delayed treatment or lack of intervention leads to a greater risk of resulting in future poor school performance, lower overall potential lifetime earned income, and poor lifetime health outcomes.

·         During these early years, the brain is very moldable, or what scientists call “plastic” This means that even if a delay is detected in a child, with access to the right interventions and treatment, further progression of the delay can be prevented, interventions and treatment will likely be less intensive, have a shorter duration, cost less, and most importantly have a much greater impact than at a later time in life. 

·         Children do not just “grow out of” a developmental delay, but with prompt intervention and appropriate treatment, the delay can be limited or even overcome and development can get back on the right track.  For more information, check out this quick fact sheet from the CDC.


By routinely screening every child, children with developmental delays will be identified earlier and connected to interventions when they will have the greatest impact. 


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



Every child be screened at 9, 18, and 24/30 months of age, as well as whenever there is parental or provider concern.


Only 25% Of Washington Kids Receive A Developmental Screen At Any Point In Their Childhood!








Developmental Delay


A developmental delay is when a child does not reach milestones at the same time as the majority of other children the same age.

Because all children are unique, there is a wide age range considered typical for each milestone to be met. 

Watch the Baby Steps video from the CDC for more information.




What Causes A Developmental Delay?


There are many things that can cause your child to have a delay in development.  Causes can be genetic (Down syndrome), a result of a complicated pregnancy or childbirth (prematurity or infection), exposure to stressful or traumatic situations and environments, a treatable problem (hearing loss from prolonged ear infections), or the cause may simply be unknown. 


Are You Concerned About Your Child’s Development?


If you are concerned, make an appointment with your child’s health care provider right away to discuss your concerns.   Your child’s health care provider may recommend that you take your child to see a neuro developmental pediatrician, which is a doctor that specializes in how children grow and develop.


Print a free ASQ developmental screening, complete it at home and take it with you to your child’s appointment.


Contact your local early intervention agency for children under three to get a free ASQ screening mailed to your home and to schedule a screening assessment. For children over three contact your local public school’s special services department and ask for a screening.


Rounded Rectangle: Whatever You Do, Don’t Wait!



Your child has been referred to a neuro-developmental pediatrician or a clinical psychologist for further assessment!  Now What?

Your child may be eligible to receive early intervention services while they wait for their assessment.



Wait times for a diagnostic assessment can be quite lengthy. It may take up to 12-18 months for your child to be evaluated by a neuro-developmental pediatrician or a clinical psychologist. Early intervention services can be initiated during this time, so don’t wait! Contact your local early intervention agency for children ages birth to under 3, or your local public school special services department  for children three and over right away.



The CDC has great information for families with resources and tips on typical development and tools to promote healthy growth and even have a special section designed for parents of toddlers.

Washington State Department of Early Learning has the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program.  There is a wealth of information for families, providers, and community members as well as links to other resources.

Print a free developmental screening passport to take with your child to all well child check-ups, as well as information on typical child development, learning activities and other great resources at Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive

To learn how powerful play is for your child and get tips and tools for fostering early development including free parent guides go to Zero to Three



Find A Medical Home For Your Child

A medical home  is the ideal way to provide your child and family with the best care possible.  It is a partnership between parents, children, the primary health care provider, and any specialists involved with the care of your child.  By working together as a team your family and child will have better access to community supports, resources, and services that are coordinated, leading to improved overall health and well-being for your child and family.


Think of it as a home base for meeting the needs of your child, both medical and non-medical. 















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Kennewick WA
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Pasco WA
(509) 547-9737

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