What is a developmental delay and how do I know if my child is developing on time?
Child development refers to the process in which children go through changes in skill development during predictable time periods, called Children reach developmental milestones at different rates but typically within an expected time period.
Each child is an individual and may meet developmental milestones a little earlier or later than his peers. However, there are definitely blocks of time when most children will meet a milestone.
Developmental delay occurs when children have not reached these milestones by the expected time period. For example, if the normal range for learning to walk is between 9 and 15 months, and a 20-month-old child has still not begun walking, this would be considered a developmental delay since age 20 months is outside of the normal "window" or time frame in which children learn to walk.
Developmental delays can occur in all or may just happen in one or more of those areas. Additionally, growth in each area of development is related to growth in the other areas. So if there is a difficulty in one area (e.g., speech and language), it is likely to influence development in other areas (e.g., social and emotional).
Watch for these Developmental warning signs.
If you have a concern about your child’s development it is important that you act as soon as possible. Early intervention is the key to later success.
- Contact your child’s pediatrician/doctor. Your child's doctor can talk with you, examine your child, and refer you to agencies that help to screen or evaluate children for developmental delay.
- Discuss your concerns with your child’s preschool teacher
- Contact your local Regional Center or Early Start Program
- Contact LAUSD Infant and Preschool Support Services @213-241-4713
- Contact a Pathways Resource and Referral Specialist
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