Change Indicator

Children under age 6 who received a developmental screening in United States

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Why This Indicator Matters

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Definition and Source



Parents of children ages 10 months to 5 years who had ever filled out a screener from a medical professional about specific concerns the parent may have had about the child's development, communication, or social behavior.  

The screener was considered valid only if it included the parent's concerns about how the child talks or makes speech sounds, and about how the child interacts with the parent and others (for children under 2 years), or included the parent's concerns about the words and phrases the child uses and understands and how the child behaves and gets along with the parent and others (for children ages 2 through 5 years).   Children were automatically considered to have not received a screener if they had not seen a medical professional in the past year.

Data Source

Child Trends analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). For information on the NSCH, see


Data for the 2011-2012 NSCH were collected February 2011 through June 2012. 
Data were not collected from Puerto Rico.

Last Updated

March 2018