A child with developmental delays can catch up. Some developmental delays may respond to treatment. It may depend on the type of developmental delay and how severe the problem is, but there are a variety of treatment and management options available that may help or reverse a developmental disorder.
Developmental delays can fall into one of the following categories:
- Physical: This includes gross and fine motor skills.
- Language: This includes ways of trying to communicate, like babbling and talking.
- Emotional: This includes ranges of emotions, including smiling, laughing, empathy, and fear.
- Behavior: This includes interaction with others.
It may take some time and a lot of effort, but there is help available that can cater to your child’s developmental needs. Catching it early on is key.
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Identifying Developmental Delays in Your Child
Before you can start seeking help for your child with a developmental disability, you must identify the delay and what is causing it. This may not be as easy as you think. It may be in your child’s best interest to receive a diagnosis from a doctor.
Although a child’s development is compared to a universal milestone chart, some children will develop at different rates than others. Milestone charts are generic. You may notice that your baby is reaching some milestones early, while reaching other milestones a few months late. Some children may miss a milestone altogether. For example, your child may never crawl, but instead, go straight to standing and walking. This is okay. If you are unsure, ask your pediatrician.
If you suspect your child is not developing at a normal pace, notify your child’s pediatrician at their next well-visit. You can also call the doctor’s office to see if they can get you in at an earlier time, or if they have any recommendations or advice about your concerns.
At your next visit, the pediatrician may conduct an evaluation to determine if there is a developmental delay. The doctor may arrive at a diagnosis by having your child undergo assessments such as the following:
- Physical exam
- Developmental screening exam
- Academic tests
- IQ tests
- Psychological evaluation
- Genetic testing
- Blood tests
The type of assessment necessary is based on the type of delay that is occurring. Not all of these are necessary for certain developmental delays, but a single assessment may not suffice either. Several tests may be necessary to identify the issue and what may be causing it. For example, a speech delay may occur due to a hearing problem.
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Early Intervention for Developmental Delays
Your child may benefit most if you begin monitoring any development delays early. This is especially true before the age of 3. Between the ages of 0 and 3, your child’s brain connections are easier to adapt, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Therefore, treating a developmental delay may be easier and have better results at a younger age.
Your child may benefit from treatment or management plans that can include:
- Physical therapy.
- Support groups.
- Special education classes.
- Speech therapy.
- Psychostimulant medication.
Sometimes the developmental delay is caused by a damaged muscle or nerve. If this is the case, surgery may be necessary. It is best to discuss any treatments with your child’s pediatrician before moving forward.
It can be valuable for you and your family to find ways to help your child at home, too. Joining support groups can help you and your family cope while connecting with other families who are going through the same experience.
Additional Problems Arising From Developmental Delays
Developmental delays often have more repercussions than just what is noticeable on the surface. This can create a domino effect of complications from early childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood unless your child can catch from developmental delays.
Other issues that your child may face with a developmental delay can include:
- Low self-esteem.
- Anger issues.
- Social skill deficit.
- Poor relationships.
- Eating disorders.
A developmental delay may just be one aspect of your child’s troubles. Early treatment also has the ability to prevent other consequences and serious health issues down the road. Therefore, it is important to act early. It can help your child catch up or learn to manage any disabilities they face.
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If a Birth injury Caused Developmental Delays in Your Child
Sometimes a birth injury will cause a child to have development delays where catching up may seem impossible. If you believe your child’s delays occurred because of a doctor’s negligence during your pregnancy or delivery, you may be able to seek compensation. Speak with a legal representative at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to schedule your free consultation. A lawyer can review your case and determine your legal options. Call now at (800) 222-9529.