Developmental screening is an indispensable tool for detecting children at developmental risk. However, it is of value only to the extent that it is paired with developmental surveillance and with linkage to appropriate and effective programs and services. The Community Coordinator’s position is designed to be that necessary link between screening, surveillance, and connection to community resources.
When accurate detection does occur, linkage to appropriate services must follow. Ellen Perrin, M.D., Director of Research at the Center for Children with Special Needs and professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, questions the ethics of detection without the provision of services. She states, “Detection without referral/intervention is ineffective and may be judged unethical.”