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Chapter Initiatives

Early Brain Development

The District of Columbia Chapter of the AAP (DC AAP) is the lead organization for the Strong Beginning for Schools project, funded by a Healthy People 2020 grant. The project is a collaboration with the Early Intervention Program in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the Early Stages Center at DC Public Schools, the DC Action for Children and The Arc of the District of Columbia designed to increase the proportion of children who are ready for school in all five domains of healthy development, by increasing DC pediatricians’ knowledge of the AAP guidelines; resources in DC to assist with implementation; the referral process for Early Intervention and Special Education; and resources for Early Intervention, Special Education and Child Care.

27 pediatric practices in the District have received lunch-time presentations and have been given resources to assist them in implementing a standardized developmental screening process, including AAP guidance, billing guidance, ASQ kits if needed, referral forms and a list of other resournces.

The goal of the project is to help medical providers overcome the barriers to implementation of screening, whether that be financial or lack of knowledge as to which organizations to refer families. Early Stages and Strong Start saw a notable overall increase in referrals following the outreach, presentations and follow up, which played a substantial part in boosting the number of children connected to Early Stages and Strong Start. Early Stages and Strong Start continue to follow up with practices that committed to implementing screening, troubleshooting whatever barriers these practices encounter in the process.

The presentation and resource materials are available below:

DC AAP Presentation – Developmental Screening in the DC Primary Care Setting