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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends developmental testing for children at ages 9-, 18-, and 30-months.footnote 1 Specific checks for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are done at ages 18 months and 24 months. The doctor will use developmental tests (questionnaires) and then review your child's results. The doctor will compare your child's abilities with the normal milestones of children of the same age.
At all well-child visits, the doctor will watch for early signs of developmental problems. These can affect how a child can talk, move, concentrate, and socialize.
A child who has signs of developmental delays should be evaluated. These signs include:
If there are no clear signs of problems from the screening tests, most children don't need more evaluation until the next well-child visit.
Children who have a sibling who has ASD need to be screened more often. Along with the normal check-ups at each well-child visit, these children need to be screened for language delays, poor social skills, and other problems that could be a sign of ASD. Some children may need to see a developmental pediatrician after the screening is done.
Anyone who develops problems with socialization, learning, or behavior should be evaluated.
Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine and Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Workgroup. (2021). 2021 recommendations for pediatric preventive health care. Pediatrics. published online February 16, 2021: e2020049776. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2020-049776. Accessed February 24, 2021.
Current as of:
August 3, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Susan C. Kim MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineLouis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as of: August 3, 2022
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics
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