In the United States, about 13 percent of children 3 to 17 years of age have a developmental or behavioral disability such as autism, intellectual disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In addition, many children have delays in language or other areas that can affect school readiness. However, fewer than half of children with developmental delays are identified before starting school, by which time significant delays already might have occurred and opportunities for treatment might have been missed. Surveillance, screening, referral, and follow-up services are integral parts of what should happen so that children receive the services they need to grow and develop. States are developing best practices to promote and track developmental screenings and referrals of young children.

This staff briefing highlighted the importance of early screenings for identifying and getting services to children experiencing developmental delays and to hear about best practices in the states to connect children to these critical screening services. The panelists will each give a short presentation and leave time to answer any questions you have.

Moderator: Neva Kaye, Managing Director, Health System Performance, National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) (Download presentation)


  • Michael Odeh, Associate Director, Health Policy, Children Now, California (Download presentation)
  • Sandy Oxley, Chief Executive Officer, Voices for Ohio’s Children (Download presentation)
  • Mary Ellen Mannix, Health Care Consultant, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (Download presentation)
  • Katherine Beckmann, Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood Health and Development, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison for Early Childhood, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Download presentation)

Closing Remarks: Dr. Liane Wong, Ph.D., Leader and Program Officer, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

About First Focus First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. First Focus leads a comprehensive advocacy strategy, with its hands-on experience with federal policymaking and a commitment to seeking policy solutions.