Developmental Delay: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose developmental delay?

Most children are screened for developmental skills by their primary care provider during well-child visits at 9, 18, 24 and 30 months. Primary care providers are also a great first resource for any questions or concerns parents might have about development. If those initial screenings indicate a child may need more testing, primary care physicians often refer to a specialist for more intensive diagnostic testing.

Seeing a specialist for developmental delay

During a full diagnostic test of development at Children’s Hospital Colorado, a specialist will test your child’s cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, expressive and receptive language, social and daily living skills using standardized tests.These tests are non-invasive and won’t cause any pain to a child. In fact, many of these tests seem like games to children.

In addition to this developmental screening process, a child’s hearing and vision should be tested to make sure that these are not contributing to a child’s slower skill development.

In some cases, doctors at Children’s Colorado may recommend additional medical tests based on your child’s history, physical examination and results of developmental testing.These tests may include a blood test or imaging test. During these tests, doctors will try to determine if there are ongoing medical issues that could be contributing to the delays.