Sunday, March 6, 2016

Screening and Intervention by Heather Dane, Specialist

Are you concerned your child is not meeting the developmental milestones? Are you unsure where to turn for help? Whether your child has an official diagnosis or you are still searching for answers, there are agencies and tools you can use that will guide you in finding the answers you are looking for.

Developmental milestones are things that most children do by a certain age. Knowing these milestones can help you understand your child’s development and identify any areas in which your child may be struggling to succeed. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a booklet outlining these milestones from ages 0-5 years. For a copy, please visit

Indiana First Steps is the states early intervention program dedicated to providing therapies and services to children ages 0-3yr. Services are typically provided in your home or child care center and can include services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, and nutritional services. Parents can call their First Steps System Point of Entry (SPOE) to discuss their concerns and schedule an evaluation. For more information about this program and a complete listing of the area offices visit Referrals can also be made by your child’s physician or any other programs, such as Healthy Families Indiana, that you and your child may be involved in.

As your child gets older it can become increasingly difficult to determine what typical behaviors are and what is not. Bright Futures for Families is a national initiative for families and communities to promote and improve the health and well-being of children of all ages. They offer a wide range of materials for families such as a Family Pocket Guide that provides information on how your child grows and develops as well as how to work with and choose your healthcare provider. You can download a copy of this publication by visiting

If you are concerned about your child’s development you can also ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist that can formally evaluate your child. Depending on your insurance coverage and the clinic’s policies, you may be able to set up an appointment without your doctor’s referral. There are many different medical specialists who work with developmental disabilities, and often the types of questions you have about your child determine which specialist is the best choice. Options include: Developmental pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, endocrinologists or genetics.

The bottom line is that you as the parent know your child better than anyone. If you are concerned about any area of their development it is your right and responsibility to ensure they receive proper screening and treatments if necessary. If you need help navigating the services mentioned here or finding additional resources contact Family Voices Indiana today to speak with a Health Information Specialist. 317 944 8982



If your child has Medicaid, they are covered by EPSDT:  Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT).  Under EPSDT requirements, states must provide comprehensive health and developmental assessments and vision, dental and hearing  services to children and youth up to age 21. The goal of  these prevention-oriented services is the early identification  of conditions that can impede children’s natural growth and development. In addition to screening services,  EPSDT also covers the diagnostic and treatment services necessary to ameliorate acute and chronic physical and mental health conditions.

The EPSDT benefit includes screening services, as well as diagnostic and treatment services. Screening services are required in four areas: medical, vision, dental, and hearing.
The medical screen must include:
• a comprehensive health and developmental history, including an assessment of both physical and mental health;
• a comprehensive unclothed medical exam;
• appropriate immunizations;
• laboratory tests, including lead blood testing; and
• health education, including anticipatory guidance.

Other EPSDT services include vision services, including diagnosis, treatment, and eyeglasses; dental services, including relief of pain and infections, restoration of teeth, and maintenance of dental health; and hearing services, including diagnosis, treatment, and hearing aids.
You can read more about EPSDT here:
And, this is the state’s provider manual for the program:

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