Children’s Specialized Hospital Screens for Developmental Delays

By Lauren Wanko
NJ Today

They call it a “Quick Peek.” Four-year-old Eric Castro is being screened with an evaluator from the Children’s Specialized Hospital for any type of developmental delays.

“It is a screening so we are looking to see if there are any red flags, anything that we would see where there might be a delay,” explained Amy Norton, Quick Peek Program Coordinator at Children’s Specialized Hospital.

Armed with toy blocks, crayons and balls, evaluators spend 30 minutes with each child on fine motor skills like writing and cutting; gross motor skills like jumping, kicking and throwing balls; communication skills; and problem solving.


“We don’t give a diagnosis in a screening. It’s too short of a period of time, but the next step would absolutely be to get a full evaluation so that there could be a diagnose made,” Norton said.

Parents leave the free screening with a letter for their pediatrician who in turn can make a referral for the recommended evaluations. Anna Bachan brought her 4-year-old daughter Isabella.

“We just wanted to check her development. I have a son that’s autistic and I just want to make sure that we are not neglecting my other children so we’re just trying to make sure she’s OK,” Bachan said.

Before today, the Children’s Specialized Hospital has screened 35 kids. So far 60 percent of those children have been recommended for further evaluations.

“Remember this is a screening so I think it does attract parents who have concerns,” Norton said. “I think for parents who don’t have concerns they’re not necessarily coming to a screening.”

The developmental screenings are available for children ages 1 to 5. It’s funded by Kohl’s Cares.

“We are targeting that age because we feel that capturing children younger is better. The sooner we can get them services the better the outcome is in terms of getting services in place and it’s also before school starts so we’re trying to capture children before they get into kindergarten so that in case they need services we can get them service before they go to school,” Norton said.

A total of 16 clinics will be offered through October.