Why do we use screening tools?

Why do we use screening tools?

Why do we use screening tools?

Why do we use screening tools?

Identifying risks or concerns at an early age helps determine if further evaluation or intervention is indicated.

Screening young children is an effective and efficient way for parents and professionals to:

  • Monitor if your child’s development is on track

  • Celebrate your child’s accomplishments

  • Identify any delays or concerns early on

  • Determine areas that may benefit from support

What is the SWYC (Survey of Well-Being in Young Children)?

The SWYC is an age-specific, comprehensive, first-level screener developed by researchers at the Tufts Medical Center for children ages 1 month to 5 1/2 years old. The SWYC combines developmental and behavioral questions with screening for autism, parental depression, and other family risk factors. It is designed to be sensitive enough to identify any child who may be at risk and encourage parents to have conversations with th

What are the benefits of the SWYC?

Parenting does not come with a manual! It helps to have guidance on the stages of development and typical emotions and behaviors. Clay provides suggestions based on the SWYC results to help your child reach their full potential.

The SWYC was designed to be:

  • Brief: Takes about 10 minutes to complete

  • Comprehensive: Combines development, emotional/behavioral, and family questions into one complete screener

  • Sensitive: Catches potential flags early on

  • Feasible: No face to face assessment required! You can answer questions based on observations about your child, AND our electronic version allows you to complete it at your convenience!

What does the SWYC screen for?

There are three overall domains on the SWYC: Development, Behavior, and Family.

The Developmental Milestones

  • Questions explore your child’s fine and gross motor, language, and cognitive development. On the developmental section, the first few items on each screening are “easier” skills that most children will be doing. As the list goes on, the skills become more challenging.

  • Parent’s Observations of Social Interactions (POSI) screens for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children between 16 and 36 months of age.


  • The Baby Pediatric Symptoms Checklist (BBSC) screens for emotional challenges related to irritability, inflexibility, and difficulty with routines in infants and young toddlers up to 18 months.

  • The Preschool Pediatric Symptoms Checklist (PPSC) screens for behavioral and emotional challenges such as attention problems in children 18-60 months.

Family Context

  • The family questions tap into risk factors, such as parental depression, marital discord, drug and alcohol abuse, food insecurity, and reading frequency that can impact a child and family’s well-being.

What do the scores mean?

Most children will not perform every skill in the questionnaire. The SWYC was designed to provide parents with some idea of what skills they have mastered and what they may see their children doing next. Every child grows and develops differently; there is a range of when most children reach certain developmental milestones such as walking and saying their first word.

Keep in mind, the SWYC is designed to be very sensitive. In some cases, children who will be identified as potentially having risks will turn out to be doing just fine when they get further evaluation. The goal is to reduce the number of children who fall through the cracks with typical screeners.

How do we score?

  • Our SWYC scoring is automatically calculated using the exact scoring system designed by the authors of the scale.

  • Each section of the SWYC has its own unique scoring rubric and each age has its own scoring rubric.

  • The Clay Care Team reviews all responses and scores to recommend next steps, suggest follow up questions, and identify appropriate providers when indicated.

How can I use this information as a parent?

  • Parents can share the results of the SWYC with their child’s pediatrician and any treatment providers involved in their care.

  • Parents can identify areas to continue observing for any changes or concerns

  • The SWYC was designed to allow for repeated use so you can monitor your child’s progress over time.

  • Family sections of the SWYC can be a good reminder of the importance of family well-being and where additional support may be considered.

Help your teachers be more successful today

Help your teachers be more successful today

Help your teachers be more successful today