Developmental Problems: Testing

Topic Overview

Health professionals who see infants and children screen for (watch for early signs of) developmental disabilities at every well-child visit. Developmental problems can affect how a child can talk, move, concentrate, and/or socialize.

The doctor will use developmental tests (questionnaires) and then review your child's results. He or she will compare your child's abilities with the normal milestones of children of the same age.

Your child will be evaluated right away if the doctor discovers obvious signs of developmental delays , such as:

  • No babbling, pointing, or other gestures by 12 months.
  • Saying no single words by 16 months.
  • Saying no two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months, with the exception of repeating phrases (echolalia).
  • Any loss of language or social skills at any age.

If there are no obvious signs of developmental delays or any unusual results from the tests, most infants or children do not need further evaluation until the next well-child visit.

Children who have a sibling who has autism need continued monitoring. Along with the normal check-ups at each well-child visit, these children need to be screened for language delays , poor social skills, and other problems that could be a sign of autism. Some children may need to see a developmental pediatrician after the screening is done.

When socialization, learning, or behaviour problems develop in a person at any time or at any age, he or she should be evaluated.


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics

Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014