Arizona Literacy & Learning Center

Improving Literacy in Arizona Since 1987

(602) 212-1089


Developmental Screening FAQ

Developmental Screening FAQ

Why is Developmental Screening Important?

Screenings tell you how a child is developing when compared to his/her peers of the same age.
Supports and encourages child’s growth and educational planning.
Quickly and efficiently determines if a child should undergo further assessment and evaluation.
Measures a child’s progress in specific areas and detects strength and needs.
Early identification and intervention is key to prevent school failure.
Arizona ranks 44th out of 51 states in education. (Washington D.C. included)
Arizona ranks 45th worst in the nation for reading proficiency of 4th graders
90% of brain development occurs before age 5
On average 70% of children we see typically need follow-up in one or more areas
Supports early identification and intervention of developmental delays

What does a developmental screening do?

Developmental Screenings provide insight and help rule out potential problems. Ensuring your child is on track can lead to future educational success. The purpose of a developmental screening is not to diagnose, but to identify children’s developmental strengths and needs. Screenings tell you how your child is developing when compared to his/her peers of the same age. Receiving an overview of a child’s skills gives parents and teachers the opportunity to know how best to prepare children for Kindergarten and provide early intervention if necessary.

Why should I have my child screened?

The ages between 2 and 5 are often called the preschool years. This is a critical time to make sure your child has the language and physical skills to begin kindergarten. It is important to be aware of any changes or lack of development in your child. When learning challenges are identified at a young age, early intervention can help the child with learning tasks.

What should I watch for?

Children who are showing difficulties with any of the following areas may have a learning challenge. Watch for difficulties with:

  • speaking or being understood by people outside of your family
  • vision
  • hearing
  • walking/running
  • self-help skills
  • behavior/social skills
  • manipulating small objects/drawing

Who is eligible to participate?

Children between the ages of 3-5 are eligible to participate. Screenings are free of charge and held in community settings, daycare facilities, and the main ALLC office in Phoenix.

How do I schedule an appointment with Arizona Literacy & Learning Center?

Please call us at 602-212-1089 to schedule an appointment. Permission forms will be provided to parent(s)/legal guardian(s) prior to screening the child. The form must be completed and signed before we can screen your child. Please go to our calendar page to see when the next free community screening date is.

What if my child is less than three years of age?

If you have concerns about a child who is between birth and two years of age, call the Arizona Early Intervention Program at (877) 222-5432, or visit their website at:

What happens during the screening appointment?

  • Parents complete a permission form and parent questionnaire.
  • A certified hearing screener will check your child’s hearing.
  • A certified vision screener will check your child’s vision.
  • Your child will be screened in the developmental domains of; Language, Articulation, Concepts, Motor, Self-help, Social Emotional, and Pre-Literacy.
  • You will receive take-home activities so you can help your child learn important pre-kindergarten skills.
  • If needed, you will receive referrals to service providers in your areas.
  • The appointment will be approximately 70-75 minutes.

What happens next?

  • A report of screening results will be mailed out to pre-school partners and/or parents within 2-3 weeks.
  • Recommendations are included for each child that is not meeting a developmental domain standard.
  • Reports also include suggestions for intervention and a listing of community resources.
  • Referrals in hearing and vision need immediate attention by the parents
  • When a child receives a score of “refer” or “monitor”, parents will be contacted in about 45 days by an ALLC staff member to complete a follow-up form. We like to be sure you were able to access community resources to help your child.

How does the Referral process work?

  • When concerns are identified, ALLC will provide you with a community referral list of specialists who can help your child in the area of concern.
  • Some follow up services may be covered by your insurance, so you may want to check with your insurance company for providers in your network.
  • You are welcome to return with your child for a follow-up screening about 6 months after the initial screening. This allows us to see the progress your child has made following the referral intervention.

Please call us at 602-212-1089 to schedule an appointment.