As a parent, you may already know that every child’s development is different. But, you should look out for some developmental milestones to ensure that your child grows as expected of their age. A child’s growth is not only physical. Children grow physically while at the same time learning and developing their mental capacity since birth.
Fortunately, you can observe your child’s development process by watching how they interact with the environment, move, play, speak, learn and behave. If you realize that your child has a developmental delay, do not panic, as therapies can help them get back on track. Read on to learn more about developmental delay and how to address it.
What is developmental therapy?
A developmental delay is when your child hasn’t reached the milestones expected of them as their age. Skills such as playing, smiling, laughing, waving, first step, etc., are known as developmental milestones. Children achieve milestones in playing, crawling, walking, speaking, behaving, and more. If your child delays reaching such milestones, that could be a developmental delay.
Developmental delay may occur in various aspects, including motor function, cognitive play, social skills, speech, and language. A global developmental delay happens when a child has delayed reaching to or more areas of development.
It can be devastating or stressful to learn that your child has a developmental delay. Thankfully, there are treatment options for such a diagnosis, including physical therapy, family behavioral services, assistive technology your child may need, etc. If you notice any developmental delay in your child, you should take them for developmental screening.
The easiest way to know that your child has a developmental delay is when they have not achieved some milestones their agemates have. Doctors and healthcare providers use developmental screening to determine if your child has a developmental delay. They may ask questions about your child’s behavior or play and chat with them during the examination.
You may have to fill in a questionnaire regarding your child’s behavior because there are no blood tests or lab tests to diagnose developmental delay. However, the doctor can perform some tests for some syndromes likely to cause developmental delay, and they will tell you if necessary.
Since it is still natural for children to reach some milestones earlier or later than their peers, your doctor will look at the bigger picture to determine any abnormalities with your child. Developmental screening is critical because you can act early if the doctor identifies a developmental delay in your child.
What are the early intervention services?
There are different intervention services for developmental delay in kids. Depending on the developmental delay your child is experiencing, these services may be helpful.
- Family behavioral services.
- Nutrition services.
- A developmental pediatrician services.
- Physical therapy.
- Psychological services.
- Audiology and hearing services.
- Speech and language services.
Although there is no specific cure for developmental delays, therapies directed to the particular area of delay in your child’s development can help them catch up with their peers. If there is a specific health condition behind the delay, identification and treatment can improve the child’s development.