What is the PEDS:DM®?

The PEDS:DM® is a new measure that can be used with PEDS-R® (the 12 item measure focused on eliciting and addressing parents’ concerns) or by itself. The PEDS:DM® consists of 6-8 items per age/encounter and is designed to replace informal milestones checklists (which are notorious for their inability to detect children with problems) with highly accurate items known to predict developmental status. Each item on the PEDS:DM® taps a different developmental domain (fine motor, gross motor, expressive language, receptive language, self-help, social-emotional, and for older children, reading and math). Failure on an item, predicts difficulties in that domain, with cutoffs tied to the 16th percentile and below: The point at which children struggle when in school, are likely to be retained in grade, drop-out of high school, etc. The PEDS®-DM has sensitivity and specificity between 70% and 97% across ages and developmental domains. So, it provides clear criteria for when to refer and meets standards for screening test accuracy.

The PEDS:DM® is for children birth to 8 years (7 years-11 months) of age. Items are completed by parent report (but can also be administered directly to children). The PEDS:DM® has laminated pages on which parents and older children can write with a dry-erase marker or grease pencil (markers and holders are included with the test). The PEDS:DM® Results and Interpretation Form, a single longitudinal screening/surveillance form, is kept in the chart and is the only expendable material required. The Results and Interpretation Form provides a growth chart for tracking strengths and weaknesses over time.

There is also an assessment-level version (PEDS:DM-AL®) of the PEDS:DM® for use with programs serving children at risk (e.g, NICU follow-up, Early Intervention services, etc.). This version provides both age-equivalent scores, and determines percentage of delay. It has a reusable form (one per family) for in-depth developmental monitoring.


PEDS-R® versus PEDS:DM®

There’s much value in using PEDS-R® and PEDS:DM® together and the measures combined require only 18 – 20 questions to be answered per visit.

PEDS-R® helps you elicit and address parents’ concerns, helps focus the visit, reduces “oh by the way” concerns, enhances the “teachable moment”, and ensures that visits are truly collaborative.
The PEDS:DM® gives you information on children’s progress, facilitates skilled monitoring of development, replaces informal milestones checklists with an accurate one that has clear cutoffs for problematic versus typical development.
The PEDS:DM® clarifies parental concerns (some types of concerns require screening further) and so by using both measures together you can comply with American Academy of Pediatrics’ (2006, 2009, & 2014) recommendations for screening and surveillance: eliciting parents’ concerns at each visit and measuring children’s development.

For additional information on the PEDS:DM® in print or for electronic applications, please contact us.

Please let us know if you have questions or comments.