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Vision: Colorado’s children reach their maximum developmental potential.
Mission: Encourage the use of standardized developmental screening tools in health care settings across Colorado to facilitate early identification and referral.
Colorado’s ABCD project started as a small pilot in Arapahoe County in 2005. The efforts were so successful that in 2007 funding was received to expand the outreach to the entire state. A state team, composed of pediatric primary health care providers, parents, leaders from state agencies, and major health care systems, as well as other stakeholders was formed to guide the efforts. A survey was completed at the outset of the project that indicated less than 5% of pediatric primary health care providers in Colorado used a Standardized Developmental Screening Tool as a routine component of well child visits. Current data shows that over 60% of pediatricians (and 27% of all practices that see children) now use a Standardized Developmental Screening Tool. Since its initiation in Arapahoe County, ABCD has worked with pediatric primary health care providers in over 40 of Colorado’s 64 counties.
Our successes have occurred as a result of strong collaboration and key partnerships. For example, The Division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (COPHE) has identified improving developmental and social/emotional screening and referral rates for all children birth to age 5 as a 2011-2015 priority. In addition, ABCD is currently partnering with JFK Partners to increase the number of physicians in Colorado who include autism screening (M-CHAT) in their screening protocol.