Project 3D: Developmental Delays and Disabilities Screening and Referral Project

September 2, 2008

PI: William Schwab, MD, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison


The overall purpose of the two-year project is to develop, implement and evaluate a pilot program targeted to a subset of currently practicing family physicians Wisconsin to support their capacity to screen for developmental milestones and to utilize Part C Early Intervention Services and Section 619 Early Childhood Special Education Services. The experience of the project will serve as a model to reach out to family physicians throughout the nation with actionable information about early developmental screening, developmental milestones, and early intervention and early childhood services. The specific goals of Project 3D will address creation of a statewide network to promote developmental screening of all infants and young children, and to institute a series of training and technical assistance strategies to promote physician awareness, education and practice barriers related to early identification and referral of children with developmental delays and disabilities.

Goal #1. To create and sustain a statewide network of key agencies and organizations in Wisconsin to advocate for developmental screening and appropriate follow up of all infants and children, and to monitor and support developmental screening and referral initiatives throughout the State.

Goal #2. To increase awareness and knowledge of currently practicing family physicians within representative primary care practices within the state about the following topics:

  • Developmental Screening, including rationale for screening in the context of ongoing developmental surveillance, how to select valid and reliable screening tools, how to use a specific developmental screening tool and how to incorporate regular developmental screening into office practice workflow. 
  •  Part C Early Intervention Programs, Section 619 Early Childhood Special Education Programs, and other important resources for children with concerning screening results and their families,
  • Principles of Family Centered Care and Communication related to developmental screening, including sensitive and effective parent-provider dialogue around the implications of screening tool results.

The long term objective of the Project 3D Developmental Delay and Disabilities Screening and Referral Project is to assure that all infants and children are screened for developmental milestones at age intervals 9-, 18-, 24-or 30-, 36-, 48-, and 60- months and appropriate referrals are made to early intervention and early childhood services.