What are the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) screening guidelines for muscular dystrophy?

Updated: Aug 17, 2020
  • Author: Twee T Do, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey D Thomson, MD  more...
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In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a clinical report from a multidisciplinary expert panel that developed an algorithm for the screening of children for motor delays with guidance for the initial workup and referral. Identification of motor delays includes ongoing surveillance of the following milestones [69] :

  • Sitting
  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Going up stairs

The report recommends that developmental screenings take place at well-child visits at 9, 18, 30, and 48 months of age. The following motor skills are typically acquired at earlier ages, and their absence at these ages signifies delay:

  • 9-month visit - Roll to both sides, sit well without support, and demonstrate motor symmetry without established handedness; ability to grasp and transfer objects hand to hand
  • 18-month visit - Sitting, standing, and walking independently; ability to grasp and manipulate small objects; mild motor delays undetected at the 9-month screening visit may now be apparent
  • 30-month visit - Most motor delays will have already been identified and more subtle gross motor, fine motor, speech, and oral motor impairments may emerge; progressive neuromuscular disorders may manifest as a loss of previously attained gross or fine motor skills
  • 48-month visit -  Elementary school skills, with emerging fine motor, handwriting, gross motor, communication, and feeding abilities that promote participation with peers in group activities; loss of skills should alert to the possibility of a progressive disorder

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