A developmental delay occurs when a child does not reach a developmental milestone at the usual age. These delays could be physical or mental and could include delays in speaking, walking, participating in social play and many more. While some developmental delays are nothing to be concerned about and resolve in very little time, other delays require medical intervention and should be discussed at the child’s next pediatrics appointment. A pediatrician will be able to either set the parent’s mind at rest or recommend a course of treatment that can set the child up for later success.
The most common type of developmental delay is a problem with speech. While this problem could be caused by hearing loss, autism or another physical issue, health care professionals often find no cause. Treatment with a speech therapist should occur for children over the age of two who cannot say more than 15 words and who cannot say two-word phrases. Speech therapists can be found in many hospital and clinic systems. In addition, numerous school districts offer free services for qualified individuals in their district.
Other developmental delays include visual problems requiring glasses or surgery, motor skill issues that prevent the child from crawling or walking, cognitive delays that produce learning disabilities and social delays that prevent the child from properly interacting with peers or adults.