(HealthDay News) – An algorithm has been developed to facilitate the surveillance and screening of children for motor delays, providing guidance for initial work-up and referral, according to a clinical report published online May 27 in Pediatrics.

Noting that early identification of motor delays allows for timely referral for interventions as well as diagnostic evaluations and treatment planning, Garey H. Noritz, MD, and colleagues from a multidisciplinary neuromotor screening expert panel developed an algorithm for surveillance and screening of children with suspected motor delays.

The authors report that the algorithm was developed for the surveillance and screening for motor delays within the medical home, and provides guidance for the initial work-up and referral of the child with possible delays. Formal developmental screenings are suggested at the 9-, 18-, 30-, and 48-month well-child visits. In addition, neurological examinations should be conducted, with an emphasis on muscle tone evaluation. The report also includes initial diagnostic approaches for medical home providers. Diagnostic tests that can be used to evaluate children with motor delays include brain magnetic resonance imaging for those with high muscle tone and serum creatine kinase concentration measurement for those with decreased muscle tone.

“The importance of pursuing diagnostic tests while concurrently referring patients to early intervention programs is emphasized,” the authors write.

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