Professionals: Helping Parents
Utah Act Early encourages primary care clinicians, Early Head Start teachers, child care providers, and other professionals who work with young children to help parents learn about developmental milestones. As you talk to parents every day, you can point out when their children have reached important milestones. You can also encourage parents to play with and read to their children to stimulate learning and development.
Many resources exist to help professionals take an active role in developmental screening. The Medical Home Portal offers information about developmental screening tools, referring to community resources, and coordinating care. The Bureau of Child Development at the Utah Department of Health offers training for child care providers who are willing to provide developmental screening for their clients.
What to Do After Screening
Sometimes professionals are not sure what to do when they find a high score on a developmental screening tool. For child care and other community professionals, the first step is usually sharing the findings with parents, in a positive manner, and encouraging them to contact their medical home (primary care provider) for an appointment as soon as possible.
Medical homes are encouraged to provide further assessments and refer for additional testing, as soon as possible, if they do not have that expertise in their own practice. A "wait-and-see" approach often creates unnecessary delays in making appointments for testing and in ultimately making a diagnosis. When developmental pediatricians or other medical specialists are not available in your community, referrals can be made directly to specialists at the Utah Department of Health's Bureau of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN). For a list of rural cities where traveling clinics are provided, please visit the Satellite Clinics page.