New program created to find delays in child development

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics unveiled the "Concerned About Development Learning Collaborative (CADLC)," a program aimed at teaching physicians how to screen for delays in development with the newest evidence-based tools.

"Parents have probably heard 1 in 150 children have autism in the United States," said Dan Farkas, project manager. "What parents don't realize is that 1 in 8 children are born with some developmental delay."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines a developmental delay as "A delay in reaching key developmental milestones, such as talking, crawling, walking, or rolling."

Dr. John Duby, CADLC Medical Director, said while many of those problems are minor, screening can also identify issues as serious as cerebral palsy or autism.

"Our screening program identifies red flags more quickly, leading to earlier identification, referral, and treatment of delays," Dr. Duby said. "If we can find children at risk before they turn three, there's ample evidence to suggest early intervention will help the child and entire family."

The CADLC also helps doctors and families access local community resources to help with treatment plans.

"Evidence suggests when parents have a concern about their child's development, they're right 80 percent% of the time," Dr. Duby said. "We want to help families make well-informed choices about their child's care."

Farkas said if parents have questions about their child's development, they can visit to look at a list of developmental milestones sorted by age.

"If a parent has concerns, there is also a list of doctors already screening for delays in development," Farkas added. "We even have a list of community resources listed by region."

In September, the new training programs begin in person and on-line. Any Ohio physician is eligible to apply for the six-hour course.

"Parents are some of the best recruiters we have in spreading the word about the importance of developmental screening," Farkas said. "Evidence-based screening should be an expectation, not an added bonus."

Click here to learn about the screening program and to print an application for your doctor's office.