Before a Diagnosis

Under this For Parents & Families Topic

Young girl with doll, provider and mom in background
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Suspecting and then finding a developmental or medical health problem and its cause in a child is straightforward for some patients and families, but for others it may not be easy, could take a long time, and might need a lot of testing and experts’ views. For a few children, a diagnosis may not be found or may need to wait for new scientific discoveries. The pages in this topic include:

Identifying and Diagnosing Problems

Early identification of medical, developmental, sensory (vision or hearing), and mental health problems in children can allow early care and better results for those children and their families. Key roles of a child’s primary care doctor (his or her medical home) are listening to parents’ concerns, watching for signs or symptoms, and screening for problems that have yet to result in signs or symptoms.
When a problem is suspected because of parental worry or a screening test’s results, further testing, exam, visits with specialists, or even hospital stays may be the next steps.

Resources

Information & Support

For Parents and Patients

Center for Parent Information & Resources Locator
Parent Centers provide education and referrals for families with a child who has a disability, as well as the professionals who work with them. Each state has a parent center.

Learn the Signs. Act Early (CDC)
Offers many tools, videos, lists, learning materials, and an app to track a child’s developmental milestones (ages 2 months to 5 years) and act if concerned about progress; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Services for Patients & Families in Nevada (NV)

For services not listed above, browse our Services categories or search our database.

* number of provider listings may vary by how states categorize services, whether providers are listed by organization or individual, how services are organized in the state, and other factors; Nationwide (NW) providers are generally limited to web-based services, provider locator services, and organizations that serve children from across the nation.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: January 2013; last update/revision: September 2020
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Chuck Norlin, MD
Reviewer: Tina Persels