Who can take PEDS?

PEDS is for children from birth up to 8 years of age.

Who should answer the PEDS Questions?

A parent or adult most responsible for raising the child can answer the PEDS questions.

Who cannot take PEDS?

If your child is 8 or older and you have concerns about his or her progress, please contact the school psychologist at your child's school and request that screening tests be given. Also, if your child is already enrolled, the school may have given your child group achievement tests. Look at the results carefully. Scores below the 20th percentile suggest the need for more complete testing. If you are not happy with your efforts to work with the school system, please look for a developmental-behavioral pediatrician or a developmental psychologist in the yellow pages and make an appointment. Both developmental psychologists and developmental-behavioral pediatricians specialize in working with children who may have special challenges with learning and behavior.

Why is screening a good idea?

It is important to act fast and get help when it is needed. There are services that help parents learn how to help their children. And there are services to help children overcome or minimize their problems.
Waiting keeps parents worried. When children have difficulties, waiting can make things worse. Children and families do better when problems are detected early and treated quickly. So, it is important to have your child's learning and behavior tested each time you see your child's health giver. This is strongly urged by the American Academy of Pediatrics and many other leading organizations.

What exactly is PEDS?

PEDS is a screening test. Screening tests are brief tools that sort children who probably have delays in development, learning, and behavior from children who probably don't.
Screens do not give a diagnosis but only tell whether there is a reasonable chance of a problem. So screening tests can quickly and inexpensively give you advice and direction about whether more testing, services or parent education are likely to be needed.

How does PEDS work?

PEDS Listens to Parents! PEDS is a series of questions written and researched by faculty in the Departments of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt and Penn State Universities. PEDS was developed by working with more than 1000 children and their parents from all around the United States in four separate research studies published in national journals of pediatrics and early childhood education. In the studies, children were given PEDS plus diagnostic tests including IQ, language, emotional and social skills, fine and gross motor skills and so forth. Parents' answers to PEDS questions were then compared to the results of the diagnostic test batteries. This process showed that some parental concerns were related to actual problems and other concerns were related to typical development. PEDS does not identify specific problems such as autism, learning disabilities, speech-language impairments, mental retardation, or cerebral palsy. Only diagnostic testing can do this. Neverthless, PEDS identifies which children probably have such problems. PEDS also tells which children probably do not have problems. In either case,

PEDS directs parents to needed resources, services, and information.

What additional screens are included?

For children over 18 months and under 5 years of age, the MCHAT-R is included in the questions parents are asked. The MCHAT-R is a screen for a range of possible problems including language impairment, autistic spectrum disorder, mental retardation and other difficulties. The MCHAT-R was developed on more than 1000 children and is recommended by a number of professional organizations as a second-stage screen. In the future we plan to add screens for older children that tap academic skills and well-being.