The AAP offers educational tools and resources to assist with developmental surveillance and screening. Resources include Bright Futures guidelines, brief videos, free webinars, free CME/MOC courses, free developmental surveillance training for practices, screening tool finder, and a screening and testing coding fact sheet.

Educational Resources

Free PediaLink Courses On Child Development and Disability
Discover our offering of FREE PediaLink courses on child development and disability linked from this page. These courses were developed through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Participants may be eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 points.  

New from the AAP! Three mini-articles, based on listening sessions conducted with residency training directors, highlight Developmental Surveillance and Screening, Partnering with Families and Caregivers, and Facilitating and Prioritizing Referrals.

  1. Overview of Developmental Surveillance and Screening | How to Identify a Developmental Concern, highlights the differences between developmental surveillance and screening and includes free resources to assist with conducting developmental surveillance.
  2. Establishing Trusting Relationships with Families and Caregivers through Developmental Surveillance and Screening, demonstrates the importance of strengths-based developmental surveillance and screening. The article provides practical strategies and examples to help establish trusting relationships with families and caregivers.
  3. Prioritizing and Facilitating Developmental Referrals, highlights the importance of making referrals early and often, in addition to important considerations for families and caregivers when a clinician initiates a referral. The article includes a link to the free, family-friendly referral guide to assist families or caregivers with the next steps following a developmental referral.

Family Friendly Referral Guide
The AAP offers a free fillable Family Friendly Referral Guide focused on supporting families and caregivers whose child has a developmental concern. Pediatric practices can customize this guide with information about local referral resources, and then use the guide to support families/caregivers in understanding what to do if a developmental concern has been identified. The guide also illustrates the importance of following through with developmental referrals.

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AAP Chapter Resource Guide: Support for Pediatric Clinicians Conducting Developmental Surveillance, Screening, Referral, and Follow-up
The chapter resource guide, based on feedback received from chapters focused on early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, covers the following topics:  assess community assets, discover potential community partners, collaborate with your state’s CDC Act Early Ambassador, and find resources to facilitate developmental surveillance and screening. Read, link, and share this resource today!

Identifying Risks, Strengths, and Protective Factors for Children and Families: A Resource for Clinicians Conducting Developmental Surveillance
The AAP offers a FREE resource guide for pediatricians that highlights the developmental surveillance component of identifying strengths, risks, and protective factors. In the 2016 the National Survey of Children’s Health, only 30% of families/caregivers with children under 5 years report being asked by a health care provider if they had any concerns about their child’s learning, development, or behavior. This additional resource will help pediatricians recognize the value of established patient relationships before, during and after the development process.

Facilitated Mini Training 
Identify and discuss developmental surveillance best practices in your office setting with this free training, developed with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This training is intended to be facilitated by members of the practice team to encourage discussion in a short, 15-20 minute presentation. The training consists of presenter slides, facilitator speakers notes, and a case study. Material can be presented anywhere from staff meetings to professional development opportunities.
The format for the training was inspired by the Spark trainings developed by the Adolescent Health Initiative at the University of Michigan. Their trainings can be found here.

STAR Center
The goal of the Screening Technical Assistance and Resource (STAR) Center is to provide up to date information, including live technical assistance, educational opportunities, and clinical practice tools to improve the health, wellness, and development of children through practice and system-based interventions to increase rates of early childhood screening, counseling, referral and follow up as it relates to developmental disorders. Visitors will also find information related to perinatal depression and social determinants of health.

Screening Tool Finder
Sort, filter, and find information related to validated screening tools. Please note, the AAP does not approve nor endorse any specific tool for screening purposes. This table is not exhaustive, and other screening tools may be available. Tools listed in the table are for children aged 0-5 years.

Early Intervention Referral and Feedback Form Template
This template can be used to  assist pediatric health care providers in establishing a feedback loop with Early Intervention.

Screening and Testing Coding Fact Sheet  
Developmental screening is conducted using age appropriate instruments, which vary in length. This coding fact sheet provides guidance on how pediatricians can appropriately report those instruments which are standardized developmental screening and testing services. Surveillance and non-standardized instruments are not separately reported from the evaluation and management service (eg, preventive medicine service).

Videos and Webinars 

Developmental Surveillance: What, Why, and How – Brief Video
In this brief video from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Shelly Flais, MD, FAAP discusses developmental surveillance recommendations, tips, and resources available to pediatricians, clinicians, and families. (Duration: 6 minutes)

Educate, Ask, and Share: Collaborating with Early Childhood Professionals on Development – Brief Video
Like families/caregivers, early childhood professionals have valuable information about a child’s development. Their ongoing training, experience, and frequent observations of children’s development, along with the developmental surveillance and screening they may perform within their programs, can help pediatricians identify children at risk. Bidirectional communication between early childhood professionals, pediatricians, and the medical home team can support a comprehensive system of care for children and families/caregivers. This video demonstrates the collaboration between families/caregivers, early childhood professionals, and the medical home.

Tips and Resources to Support Developmental Surveillance: Recorded Coffee Talk
In this 1-hour recording, hosts Lisa Shulman, MD, FAAP and Sara Del Campo Gonzalez, MD, FAAP, highlight how to use and implement Learn the Signs. Act Early. communication tools with case studies and discussion. Listen to this brief event to hear tips and resources to support developmental surveillance in your practice.

Developmental Surveillance: Understanding and Incorporating into Practice – Brief Webinar
In this brief pre-recorded webinar, Toni Whitaker, MD FAAP and Jennifer Zubler, MD FAAP, highlight the importance of developmental surveillance and screening for children and strategies to incorporate developmental surveillance into practice using case studies and important updates from the recently published AAP clinical report, Promoting Optimal Development: Identifying Infants and Young Children with Developmental Disorders Through Developmental Surveillance and Screening. Clinician and family-centered developmental surveillance resources, including educational resources, are also discussed. (Duration: 25 minutes)

Free PediaLink Courses On Child Development and Disability

Discover our offering of free PediaLink courses on child development and disability. These courses were developed through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Participants may be eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 points.  

CDCs Learn the Signs. Act Early. Online Resources

Become an Act Early Ambassador! Now recruiting for the 2024-2026 cohort. Applications due August 5, 2024. Click here for more information. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Learn the Signs. Act Early. program has family-friendly milestone checklists for children 2-months through 5-years of age and other FREE resources to engage families in your developmental surveillance efforts. Multiple languages available.

Bright Futures

Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition
The AAP Bright Futures national health promotion and prevention initiative is supported, in part, by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The Bright Futures Guidelines, 4th Edition provides theory-based and evidence-driven guidance for all preventive care screenings and well-child visits. Pediatric primary care professionals and practices looking to incorporate resources and guidance for infants, children, and adolescents should visit the Bright Futures website.

Bright Futures Tool & Resource Kit, 2nd Edition
This Toolkit is designed to accompany and support implementation of the Bright Futures Guidelines, 4th Edition into clinical practice. The Toolkit provides an organized and integrated compilation of current forms, handouts, and resources that relate to preventive health supervision (including developmental surveillance) and health screening for infants, children, and adolescents.

About Bright Futures – Brief Video
In this brief animated video, learn information to get started using the Bright Futures recommendations in health promotion and disease prevention practices and with programs and families in the community. (Duration: 2 minutes)

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American Academy of Pediatrics