Clinical Bottom Line
Information in this article is relevant for all pediatric physical therapists working with or testing children in early intervention or in a high-risk neonatal intensive care unit developmental follow-up clinic. This study provides support for using the Bayley-III as a tool to identify children after 19 to 26 months who are at risk for developmental delays but is not as sensitive with infants younger than 6 months. The information helps support families with children who are at risk for developmental delays by using efficient testing tools to examine their development in gross motor and fine motor areas. However, many families are still unsure about developmental delays when their infants are younger than 6 months. Because of the lack of concurrent validity of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) and the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale–2 (PDMS-2) for infants younger than 6 months, therapists will need to use the Test of Infant Motor Performance (TIMP) for infants younger than 4 months and the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) for infants 4 months to 12 months of age, in addition to using a developmental test, such as the BSID III. Further studies should look at the concurrent validity of the TIMP and the BSID III for infants aged 0 to 16 weeks to accurately assess the motor development of infants at risk for development delays.
This article helps physical therapists realize that, after accurate developmental testing of young children, families may require guidance when making decisions regarding intensity and frequency of therapy. Most importantly, the therapists and adult family members must understand standardized testing for young children and how results affect therapy services and long-term outcomes.
“What should I be mindful about in applying this information?”
This study demonstrates that young children's abilities must be examined using a standardized test that is easy for the child to tolerate, especially when all domains of development are being evaluated. In addition, not all standardized tools are interchangeable and the therapist must accurately choose and administer the appropriate test.
Roberta O'Shea, PT, PhD
Governors State University
University Park, Illinois
Kara Boyniewicz, PT, PCS, ATC
FUNdamental Therapy Ltd
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.