The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement “Identifying Infants and Young Children With Developmental Disorders: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening” (published in the July issue of Pediatrics) highlights the importance of ongoing developmental surveillance of all children during preventive care visits. Early identification of and intervention for developmental problems improves developmental outcomes and allays parental anxiety.2,3  This is particularly critical in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), who may demonstrate significant developmental gains with early intervention.4,5  Although the average age of diagnosis of ASDs has decreased, many children still do not receive a definitive diagnosis of autism until the age of 3½ to 4 years or later.7,8 

The policy statement recommends surveillance for developmental problems at all well-child preventive care visits and routine screening with a general screening tool at the 9-, 18-, and 30-month...

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