Children who receive early and regular developmental screenings and access to high quality early intervention services to address developmental delays and social-emotional health issues show improved:

  • Social skills
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Math and reading skills1

Early detection and diagnosis helps parents and child care and early education teachers make appropriate decisions about educational programs.2

When children have developmental delays or social-emotional health issues that are undetected and untreated, it can cause physical delays and an inability to form and maintain relationships. Poor relationships impact children’s learning and can cause:

  • Emotional and mental health problems
  • Delinquency
  • School dropout
  • Aggression
  • Poor social skills and lack of empathy3

Show 3 footnotes

  1.  Schorr, L. B. & Marchand, V. (2007). Pathway to Children Ready for School and Succeeding at Third Grade. Retrieved from and The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. (2011). The Outcomes of Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and their Families. Retrieved from
  2.  Schorr, Pathway to Children Ready for School, op cit.
  3.  Hanag, J. F., Shaw, J. S., & Duncan, P. M. (2008). Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Elk Gove Village, Illinois: American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from

Read More About This Issue

of children nationally ages three to 17 have a developmental or behavioral disability
NC had highest rate of development screening according to National Survey of Children’s Health for 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012
of mothers receiving Medicaid were screened for maternal depression at the one-month well-baby visit in 2017

What Can We Do About It?

What supports early intervention?

  • Early and regular screening and treatment for developmental delays, social-emotional issues and risk factors
  • Care coordination and support for transitions among services
  • Improving the capacity of early education programs to effectively include infants and toddlers with disabilities and delays

Research-based based policies, practices and programs that providers, communities and North Carolina can take to ensure high quality early intervention.

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