To determine if the 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics developmental surveillance and screening algorithm is adequate or if revisions are needed.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted to investigate a clinician's ability to perform developmental-behavioral surveillance in children 0 to 5 years.
Even when a broad-band developmental screen is typical, pediatricians should refer when they confidently suspect a delay but be far more suspicious about children who seem asymptomatic. Periodic screening enhances surveillance by improving early detection and early intervention (EI) eligibility rates. Nevertheless, children with concerning screens are not consistently referred and interlinked to EI. Once referred, approximately half are deemed EI-ineligible, even though they typically perform well below average and have numerous, predictive academic and psychosocial risk factors. Meanwhile, clinicians struggle with tracking at-risk children.
Revisions are needed to optimize early detection, prevention, and monitoring. Greater emphasis is needed on developmental-behavioral promotion and referral care coordination.