Under Part C, screening is at a state's discretion and is part of post-referral procedures. Screening is conducted using appropriate instruments, administered by trained personnel, by the lead agency or an early intervention program. The purpose of screening is to determine whether an infant or toddler is suspected of having a disability and is, therefore, in need of early intervention services.
Screening requires parental notice and consent, must be performed within the 45 day timeline, and, at a parent's request and with consent, the EI program must conduct an initial evaluation of the infant or toddler even if the results of the screening do not identify the child as suspected of having a disability. Under Part B, screening may be conducted as part of child find activities in order to ascertain whether the child should be referred for an evaluation to determine if the child has a disability and is in need of special education and related services.
See also: eNotes on Developmental Screening
Developmental Screening and Referral: Early Head Start and the Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C of IDEA) (2019)
This flyer, developed by OSEP, describes ways to link Early Head Start and developmental screening in through the Early Head Start Program to referral to Part C Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. Federal, local and technical assistance resources are provided.
Early Childhood Developmental Screening: A Compendium of Measures for Children Ages Birth to Five (2014)
This compendium published by OPRE contains information about the reliability and validity of commonly-used developmental screening tools into language easily understood by early childhood practitioners. It discusses the purpose of developmental screening, how it differs from child assessment, and highlights areas in which the field is lacking information on reliability and validity of available tools as applied to different languages and populations.
State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC) - Resources to assist state Title V Maternal & Child Health Programs (MCH) programs in their efforts to develop and implement effective system-wide developmental screening services, including resources for Title V action planning, a case study of one state's Title V action plan, a scan of federal and national programs that have a specific objective/measure around developmental screening, and a matrix of which states have had grant or technical assistance programs related to developmental and autism screening.
A national interagency developmental and behavioral screening initiative launched in March 2014 and is now part of the Help Me Grow National Center resources. A user guide for multiple audiences, a Screening Passport for Families, and lists of providers that support early intervention and services are included.
Benchmark indicators and recommended practices for states to support the timely identification, referral and provision of services to infants and toddlers eligible for Part C Early Intervention services and timely transition to early childhood special education programs under Section 619. Project BEST is funded through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Association for University Centers on Disability (AUCD).
Understanding and Choosing Assessments and Developmental Screeners for Young Children Ages 3-5: Profiles of Selected Measures (2011)
The Administration for Children and Families released this report, which provides a general overview of screening and assessments, as well as reviews of specific assessments and developmental screeners appropriate for this age group.
In May 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) published this study. Key findings of the study were that approximately one in six American children have a developmental disability, an increase of 17% during the past 10 years. The increase is thought to have been caused in large part by shifts in the prevalence of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and may also be related better diagnostic tools, improved screening for disabilities, increased public awareness, more preterm births and higher parental age.
Full citation: Boyle, C. A, Boulet, S., Schieve, L. A., Cohen, R. A., Blumberg, S. J., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Visser, S., Kogan, M. D. (2011).
Trends in the prevalence of developmental disabilities in US children, 1997-2008. Pediatrics. Originally published online May 23, 2011. doi 10.1542/peds.2010-2989
This page provides multiple resources on developmental screening and milestones, including the Milestone Tracker.
This initiative, funded by the Commonwealth Fund and administered by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), was designed to enhance healthy child development for low-income children, ages 0-3, and their families, by strengthening primary health care services. The ABCD Screening Academy began in April 2007 and focused on the adoption of structured developmental screening of young children. See The Enduring Influence of the Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Initiative (July 2013) for a summary of the results of ABCD.
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) maintains this interactive map of states with Standardized Referral Forms with imbedded links to the state form. These forms are compliant with federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) privacy and confidentiality requirements. A standardized form can support more efficient and effective referral and feedback loops to support earlier identification.
This organization supports, assists and advocates for disorders that are detectable through filter paper newborn screening, are unlikely to be clinically diagnosed without screening and cause mental retardation, physical disability and/or death in early childhood when left untreated. Their site lists states and their newborn screenings, frequently asked questions and a guide about newborn screening for parents (in both English and Spanish).
California Statewide Screening Collaborative - Discusses the provider's role in screening and monitoring within the context of early care and education settings and provides a comprehensive list of online resources related to developmental and behavioral screening, as well as a list of related resources that are available for California's young children and their families.