Doctors said screening kids for developmental problems can help detect some serious issues early. But a study released this week shows less than 30 percent of kids in Idaho get screened. The screenings take place in clinics or in pediatricians' offices. There are many different types of screening.
The American Academy of Pediatrics said kids should get screened at 9 months old, 18 to 24 months and 30 months. Corwin Sutherland is a pediatric supervisor at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. He said questionnaires are given to parents during the screening process. The process can last 15 to 20 minutes.
"An example would be based on the age of your child: are they crawling, are they taking steps, are they standing," he said.
The screening also looks at vision, speech, problem solving and social skills. Another questionnaire screens for autism. It is something Idaho Falls mom Katie Burgess is grateful for.
"He was diagnosed with autism as well as a frontal lobe brain injury, he also has seizures," she said, speaking of her three-year-old son, Oliver. Oliver was diagnosed after getting screened.
"We kept asking the pediatrician's office, we were concerned, they kept telling us they don't like to start testing until the child is 5 years old, but we pushed for that and got him tested and I'm glad we did," Burgess said.
She also said parents play a key role in the screening process.
"If you are suspecting anything with a child, you definitely need to get it. If you don't like the first answer you get you need to ask for a second opinion," she said.
The Idaho Infant Toddler Program will be offering free screenings for kids 3 and under this Thursday. It is located at 150 Shoup Ave. in Idaho Falls. You can call 208-528-4060 to make an appointment or just walk in from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
You can read the study here, http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/7874-children-under-age-6-who-received-a-developmental-screening#detailed/2/10-19,2,20-29,3,30-39,4,40-49,5,50-52,6-9/false/1021/any/15186,15185.