What is a Developmental Evaluation
A developmental evaluation is a standardized assessment that tracks a child’s development across multiple domains including motor abilities, intellectual abilities, and language abilities. This evaluation typically follows children across several months in order to track developmental progress. This evaluation is particularly helpful for parents of premature children or children suffering from illness or injury. Data is provided in both written and graphical form and forwarded to the referring doctor and/or pediatrician.
Specialized developmental evaluations are also available to assess areas such as social abilities, academic abilities, and practical abilities. Typically, these evaluations are available for children age 24 months and on. This evaluation allows for quantitative data on development delays as well as exceptionalities. In addition, the developmental evaluation allows for early detection of pervasive developmental disorders, such as Autism or Asperger’s Disorder which may allow for earlier treatment. Research has demonstrated that early intervention is the strongest predictor of later functioning.
The developmental test battery can be conducted as a screening tool or in a more comprehensive format. Data is obtained via observation with the patient and their caretaker as well as from direct one-on-one standardized assessment. The evaluation also incorporates information from a clinical interview with the patient and parents, who can provide thorough information about the patient’s development.
Completion of the screener typically lasts about one to two hours and the more comprehensive battery lasts approximately three hours. The exact amount of time required depends on the child’s ability, temperament, and fatigue level. Care is taken so as to not subject the child to undue stress. The amount of time to complete this assessment is consistent with the national standard practice for this battery.
For a complete list and explanation of Family Behavioral Health Center's specialties, please review our Specialties Glossary.