Children’s health screenings have been federally mandated since 2010. That means little to doctors in California.
Advocates say California’s system is particularly bad, especially for low-income children of color. Studies show that minority children routinely get identified with autism years later than white children.
In formal developmental screenings, parents answer a series of structured, evidence-based questions about their young child’s development, to allow providers to identify any potential problems. The screenings aren’t complicated, although they can take some time. Doctors can have office staff complete them or have parents complete them online.
But, too often, that’s not happening. In 2016, less than 21 percent of California parents reported that their young children’s health care providers had them complete a standardized developmental screening tool, according to an analysis of the National Survey of Children’s Health data, which was released recently by the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
According to the Sacramento Bee, that puts California in 43rd place nationally.
For many children’s advocates and policymakers, this is serious cause for concern. Formal developmental screening questionnaires are critical for catching issues in children while they’re young enough that intensive interventions might alter the course of their lives.
Face it, doctors could care less about you and your children. They just want to take your money and get rid of you as fast as they can.