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The Quick Peek Program: A Model for Developmental Screening Within Underserved Communities

Harris, Jill PhD; Norton, Amy MA

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000073
Original Research/Study

Developmental screening of young children is important in all populations, especially underserved communities with known health care disparities. The American Academy of Pediatrics created guidelines and a toolkit for pediatricians to conduct developmental surveillance and screening, yet these guidelines are not uniformly implemented within pediatric health care settings. This results in missed opportunities to identify young children with developmental issues, delaying enrollment in early intervention and affecting child outcome. A community-based developmental screening program was designed to address this need and to reduce barriers to developmental screening. Free, bilingual clinics were provided within underserved communities, targeting children between 1 and 5 years old. These brief screenings consisted of an Ages and Stages Questionnaire–Third Edition conducted interactively with the child, parent/guardian, and screener, as well as the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers–Revised (MCHAT-R) when applicable for child's age. In the first 3 years of the program, 1,150 children were screened and 51% were found to be “at risk.” Twenty-seven percent of at-risk children were lost to follow-up at 1 month. Of those at-risk children reached at 1 month follow-up, 88% had arranged recommended evaluations and services. Implications of this model for improving access to care are discussed.

Autism Program, Children's Specialized Hospital, Mountainside, New Jersey.

Correspondence: Jill Harris, PhD, Autism Program, Children's Specialized Hospital, 150 New Providence Rd, Mountainside, NJ 07092 (jharris@childrens-specialized.org).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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