[ Browse by Service Category : Topics Related to Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities/Delays (9) ]
Programs that develop and implement organized plans for locating and identifying children who may be experiencing developmental delays or be in need of special education, and connect them with programs that provide evaluation and assessment services and/or school systems that offer the educational assistance they need.
Programs that provide a comprehensive, structured evaluation of a child's cognitive/intellectual functioning, language and communication skills, independent living skills, social and emotional development and perceptual/motor functioning in order to identify individuals who show developmental delays, determine the nature and extent of the problem and recommend a course of treatment and care. Developmental assessments are generally offered by a developmental assessment specialist, or a team of professionals that can include a pediatrician, language specialist, audiologist, occupational therapist, child psychologist and child psychiatrist, among others. They involve age-adjusted questions regarding a child's growth, physical movements, behaviour, play, and interactions with family members and the rest of the world as well as a series of tests that may include a physical exam, hearing and eye screenings, play observation, and standardized tests that present the child with specific tasks to determine areas of strength and weakness. Developmental assessments are occasionally done for adults. They can also be used to identify individuals who have developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism and neurological impairments, in order to develop a plan for remediation and care.
Programs that offer a procedure that is designed to identify children who should receive more intensive assessment or diagnosis for potential developmental delays. Screening tools can be specific to a disorder (e.g., autism), an area (e.g., cognitive development, language, or gross motor skills), or they may be general, encompassing multiple areas of concern; and rely heavily on parent observation. They do not provide conclusive evidence of developmental delays and do not result in diagnoses. A positive screening result should be followed by a thorough assessment. The goal of developmental screening is to allow for earlier detection of delays in order to improve child health and well-being for identified children.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.