Developmental Screening Initiative Program


Center for Development and Disability

2300 Menaul Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107

Phone: (505) 272-3000
Fax: (505) 272-2014

NM Developmental Screening Initiative

The New Mexico Developmental Screening Initiative (DSI) is a collaboration between the Center for Development and Disability and Envision New Mexico with input from many stakeholders across the state to promote best practices in developmental screening for children birth to five years of age. The long term goal of DSI is:

“To assure that no child reaches kindergarten with an undetected developmental condition.”

Research shows that:

  • 70% of children with developmental delays or behavioral issues are not diagnosed until after entry into kindergarten,
  • 70 to 80% of such conditions can be identified by standardized developmental screening tools,
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children receive developmental screening using a standardized tool during their well child visits at 9, 18 and 30 months of age (July 2006 Pediatrics), and
  • Only 30-40% of pediatricians use standardized developmental screening tools.

The NM Developmental Screening Initiative:

  • Develops promotional and training materials for standardized developmental screening,
  • Conducts community-based learning collaboratives targeting health care providers and the system of care for children within communities across New Mexico,
  • Utilizes quality improvement principles based on National Initiative Child Health Care Quality (NICHQ) protocols as a component of the training and on going support,
  • Promotes sustainable developmental screening practices, cross-agency community networking and earlier referral of children suspected of having developmental delays,
  • Reduces barriers impeding diagnosis of developmental delays and provides greater opportunities for earlier interventional services through learning collaboratives and on going support, and
  • Advocates for policies that promote screening and earlier detection of developmental delays.