Delaware officials want more children to be screened for developmental delays — and they are making an online tool available to pediatricians and parents.
The Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDs) online screening too allows pediatricians to get parents set up to use this resource. It’s a test asking a series of simple questions related to a child’s development. Parents complete the test at home, pediatricians then evaluate the answers during the next office visit, and refer patients to specialists if needed.
Dr. Karyl Rattay, who directs Delaware’s Division of Public Health Delaware, says that until now, children have not been routinely screened for delays.
“Where we have fallen short is that we are not identifying children early enough,” said Rattay. “What this tool will do, especially if it is widely used across the state, it will get children identified at an earlier age of having a developmental delay and get them plugged into the appropriate services earlier.”
Milton pediatrician Dr. John Ludwicki agrees that testing for developmental delays has been hit or miss in Delaware.
“I would probably guess only 30 percent of practices use a standardized, objective tool,” he said.
When pediatricians ask generally about development, they are bound to miss a lot of issues, Ludwicki said.
Rattay says parents who have concerns about their child’s development can now quickly get an initial assessment.