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Increased Family Reach of Universal Developmental Screenings to Bridge Gaps for Children with Special Needs

mother holding infant child outside, smiling at camera

All children deserve to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, children with special needs often are not identified early enough to get the support that they need to thrive. 

Making sure all children receive developmental screenings so any potential developmental delays can be identified as early as possible is critical to ensuring that children who would benefit receive support when it’s most impactful. Fortunately, we are quickly rebounding from the low screening rates we saw during the pandemic to our pre-pandemic numbers! In fact, the total number of children screened in 2022-2023 represents a greater proportion of the total population than the 2018-2019 levels. 

Through the exciting new Sparkler app, along with traditional screening sites— including early care and education settings, family resource centers, and health care settings— there were 4,621 children screened for developmental delays or special needs. Expanding access to these screenings will continue to make early intervention and special education support more available to the families that need it, allowing every child to reach their full potential.

In 2022–23, there were


children who were screened in a variety of settings using Sparkler, a new parent-friendly, multilingual mobile App and online screening tool.

Total Number of Children Screened for Special Needs by Year

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Find a provider offering free early development screenings and get to know your child’s developmental milestones.