CDC Milestones Are Intended as Tool, Not Screening—Agency Officials Clarify

Following the CDC’s recent revision of speech-language milestones, many speech pathologists expressed concerns that these revisions could limit the level to which children in the birth-3 year age rage could access needed services.
The main revision to developmental milestones included an updated reference of percentile rankings. Prior milestone statements referenced the 50th percentile but the revised milestones now reference the 75th percentile which could result in  overlooked needs, delayed referrals and later-initiated cheap pills treatment in the crucial early intervention years. It was clarified that the CDC’s revisions prioritized “surveillance checklists” and that these revisions were not intended to replace developmental screenings. It was explained that these revisions might contribute to the ‘wait and see’ approach which concerns parents and therapy providers.
The American Speech Language Association’s recommendations given the recent CDC’s revisions include the following:
  1. Speech Pathologists should use culturally and linguistically sensitive and appropriate screening and assessment tools to make clinical decisions
  2. Developmental Milestones should serve as a reference but should not be the only diagnostic indicator for clinical decision making

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