Healthcare and Developmental Screening

In Central Oregon the developmental screening rate for children on Oregon Health Plan in the first 36 months of life is 30.8 percent.

Developmental screenings in early childhood are a powerful tool in identifying and providing appropriate care for children at risk of developmental delays. Identifying delays before kindergarten means that specialty care can be provided when it is most beneficial; improving outcomes for the child and reducing costs over time. These screenings are a brief, standardized test to determine if a child is learning basic skills, or if there are developmental, behavioral, or social delays.

In Central Oregon, the screening rate for children in the first 36 months of life is only 30.8%.Developmental screenings can be done by the child’s pediatrician or other professionals in health care, community based organizations, or school settings. Although parents may feel a sense of fear or grief if their child receives a diagnosis, ensuring that all children receive a developmental screening before starting school means they will have a better chance to thrive in educational and social settings. Waiting until children are enrolled in school to discover if a child has developmental, behavioral, or social delay means they have less time to catch up with their peers, creating a greater setback.

Data Source: Wells, Kate. “CCO Measures for Better Together.” PacificSource Community Solutions, Community Health Development. E-mail to authors, September 9, 2014. Reference: Oregon Health Authority. “Developmental Screening Guidance Document.” http://www.oregon.gov/oha/analytics/CCOData/Developmental%20Screening%20Guidance%20Document%20– %20revised%20Dec%202014.pdf.