Infant-Toddler Developmental Assessment

  • Overview


    IDA is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, family-centered process designed to improve early identification of children birth to three years of age who are developmentally at risk. IDA is an integrated process that includes the Provence Birth-to-Three Developmental Profile (see in-depth). The complexity and interdependence of health, family, and emotional/social factors that influence the child's development are considered throughout the assessment process. Parents are partners in all aspects of the assessment.

    Developed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals to meet a policy-based need, IDA provides a framework for the review and integration of data from multiple sources, including previous evaluations. IDA helps determine the need for monitoring, consultation, intervention, or other services for the child and family and may be used to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

    The following chart provides an overview of the six IDA phases. Each phase develops from the preceding one and is completed only after team discussion and review. There are five carefully designed forms to assist the team in gathering and recording information.

    Phase Objectives Forms
    1. Referral & Pre-interview Data Gathering To confirm the referral; to gather and assimilate preliminary information regarding the family and child; to make initial contact with the family IDA Record, Parent Report,** Request for Health Information*
    2. Initial Parent Interview To elicit parental concerns and engage the parents as partners during the assessment; to obtain information about the child's history, health, and current developmental status as they pertain to the referral concerns; to gather information about the family that has relevance to the child's development Parent Report, Family Recording Guide,* Health Recording Guide, IDA Record
    3. Health Review To gather and organize health information from parent(s), the health care provider, medical records, and other sources; to conduct the health review and complete the Health Recording Guide; to consider the role of health factors in the child's development Request for Health Information, Health Recording Guide, IDA Record
    4. Developmental Observation and Assessment To create a profile of the child's development along multiple lines based on information obtained from parent(s) and other caregiver(s), the Provence Profile, natural and play-based observation, and a review of developmental and behavioral concerns IDA Record
    5. Integration and Synthesis To review the information gathered throughout the process; to consider the need for consultation; to integrate and summarize findings; to identify program options; to prepare for and schedule a conference with the parent(s) Use summaries from Family and Health Recording Guides, IDA Record
    6. Share Findings, Completion, and Report To bring the assessment to completion, share findings and develop a plan with the parent(s), and facilitate entry into services if needed IDA Record
  • Administration


    Administration times for IDA vary.

    There are six phases to the administration of the IDA. These comprehensive phases include interviews with the parents/caregivers, a full health report, and observation of the child. The IDA system allows users to integrate and summarize all findings to identify program options for the child.


  • Scoring

    Scores that can be generated by using the IDA include percentage delay.

    The eight developmental domains of the IDA can be hand-scored. Complete instructions are provided in the IDA Administration Manual.


    Methods to evaluate the results obtained from the Infant-Toddler Developmental Assessment are described in the IDA Administration Manual.

    It is important to note the differences between the performance age obtained by the IDA and an age equivalent. Unlike the Provence Profile performance age ranges, age equivalents provide no information about which items were passed or missed, nor do they provide information about whether a given combination of passes and misses are at all typical of children at the indicated age. The performance age that is obtained by using the Provence Profile is obtained by applying carefully established scoring criteria for age-level item sets, whereas an age equivalent is obtained by looking up the age level for which the child’s raw score was the average in a norming sample.

    Technical Qualities


    The Provence Profile is the instrument used in the developmental assessment phase of the IDA Procedures. The Provence Profile and the IDA Procedures are largely inseparable, although the Provence Profile is distinguishable as the fourth phase of IDA (though the use of the Provence Profile outside the process represented by the sixIDA phases is not encouraged). To provide empirical data on the characteristics of the Provence Profile, the results of 100 children between birth and three years of age were analyzed and reported.

    The group consisted of 52 males, 37 females, and 11 children whose sex was not reported. The item scores for these children were taken from IDA records in a training center which collected the results of IDA assessments administered by practitioners at 23 service agencies.

    Reliability and Validity

    Studies have shown that the IDA is an effective, cost-efficient, valid, and reliable assessment process that provides recommendations similar to those of more-in-depth evaluations (Anastasiow, 1988, 1989). Reliability coefficients for the Provence domain scores are generally quite high, ranging from .90 to .96 for ages 1 to 18 months and .79 to .96 for ages 19-36 months. Inter-rater reliabilities range from .91 to .95 for seven of the eight domains and .81 for the remaining domain. Several studies have examined the content, construct, criterion-related, and predictive validity of the IDA and Provence Profile.


    IDA PowerPoint Presentation — Download Instructions

    IBM System Requirements

    • IBM PC or compatible running with Microsoft Windows 3.x or later
    • 256 or more colors desired
    • Version 4.0 or later of Microsoft PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer

    Macintosh System Requirements

    • Macintosh running with System 7 or later
    • 256 or more colors desired
    • Version 4.0 or later of Microsoft PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer


    1. Download the compressed file Windows Version: Idappt.exe, or Macintosh Version: idappt.sea.hqx. In most graphical web browsers, a user may right-click or click-hold on the appropriate link and choose to "Save As," which will prompt for a file destination.
    2. Move the compressed file to a disk or an empty directory. Double-click the file to expand it.
    3. Launch PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer and select "Open" from the "File" menu. Locate the file named ida.ppt, select it, and press OK.
  • Organization

    There are six phases of IDA, each with specific objectives.

    The Provence Birth-to-Three Developmental Profile

    The Developmental Observation and Assessment Phase (Phase Four) of the IDA procedures uses the Provence Birth-to-Three Developmental Profile, named for its author, the late Sally Provence, MD. This developmental assessment provides a descriptive summary of a child's developmental competencies. The assessment employs naturalistic observation and incorporates parent reports of the child's development along eight developmental domains; Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Relationship to Inanimate Objects (Cognitive), Language/Communication, Self-Help, Relationship to Persons, Emotions and Feeling States (affects), and Coping. Because the design was to contribute to an integrated whole, the Provence Profile is meant to be used within the context of the full IDA rather than as an isolated test.

    Although the Provence Profile does not report percentile ranks, standard scores, or traditional age equivalents, it does provide important information about the relationship between the child's chronological age and the specific developmental milestones the child has reached. This combination of normative expectations and carefully derived scoring criteria yields a performance age range that best describes the child's developmental level. In addition, a percentage delay can be computed in cases where this information is required.