The connections for learning, behavior, and health in a child’s brain are the most flexible when they are young, and over time, these connections become harder to change. As with any other skill, the sooner a child receives intervention for developmental delays, the better their outcomes typically are. Developmental screening is the most effective way to identify children who need further evaluation in order to get them the support they need sooner rather than later.
Developmental screening should be used to:
- Identify children who may be in need of further evaluation
- Assist teachers in getting to know their students’:
- Adaptive skills
- Language skills
- Fine and gross motor skills
- Help prevent severe delays from going unrecognized
Developmental screening should not be used as:
- A means to make a diagnostic decision
- A school entry or readiness test
- An achievement test
A typical developmental screening tool will contain items such as name, color recognition, printing letters, picture recognition, rote counting, and identifying body parts. The Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition (ESI-3) goes beyond these “typical” categories to help attain a deeper understanding of a child’s abilities.
- Measures visual motor-adaptive skills through block building, copy forms, and visual-sequential memory to help understand how a child can coordinate their visual capacities with their fine motor abilities.
- Connects language and cognition with number concepts rather than just rote counting, and verbal expression rather than just identifying objects.
- Measures verbal reasoning which enables them complete analogies, and auditory-sequential memory which enables them to recall items in a particular sequence.
- Measures gross motor skills through balancing, hopping, and skipping.
Hear about the importance of developmental screening, and the power of the ESI-3 from its author, Dr. Miesels!