How Can I Tell If My Child is Developmentally Delayed?
Signs of a Developmental Delay
Delayed gross motor milestones such as rolling over, sitting, or walking
Delayed fine motor milestones such as utensil/scissor/pencil grasp, coloring/drawing, or handwriting skills
Delayed self-care skills
Delayed play skills
Poor head and neck control
Muscle stiffness or floppiness
Speech delay when compared to same aged peers, including gestures
Limp or awkward body posture, clumsiness
You can see the CDC's developmental milestones here: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html
How Can I Help My Child With a Developmental Delay?
Early intervention is key for all developmental delays! In fact, the first three years of life are the most important years in terms of development and the best time to seek intervention if delays are present or suspected. This is because the connections in a baby’s brain are most adaptable in the first three years of life, and they are the foundation for learning, behavior, and health. Over time, these connections become harder to change. After age 3 it continues to be important to seek intervention as early as possible!
If you're concerned about your child's development seek out an evaluation with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or speech therapist.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Occupational Therapy?
If you have concerns about your child's fine motor, handwriting, sensory, or self-care skills, you should seek out an evaluation from an occupational therapist. Your child's teacher may also share concerns with their skills as they relate to school success.
We offer a free consultation, so reach out any time if you are concerned!
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Feeding Therapy?
If your child is low weight or at-risk for low weight, you could benefit from feeding therapy services. Furthermore, if your child is a problem feeder (eats less than 15 foods consistently, may gag or vomit at the sight or taste of foods, may become emotionally upset when encouraged to interact with novel or non-preferred foods, refuses large categories of foods, may only eat foods prepared a specific way or of a specific brand, will suddenly refuse previously
preferred foods and never eat them again, and/or lmost always eat different foods than the rest of the family
) you should seek evaluation for feeding therapy services.
If your child is a picky eater (has at least 20 foods in their diet, eats at least a few fruits/vegetables, carbs, and proteins, can be convinced to occasionally try new foods, will usually eat foods that are similar to their preferred foods, may suddenly refuse a previously preferred food but will eat it again later, and/or only sometimes eat foods that are different than the rest of the family) you may want to seek feeding therapy services to assist you and your child in making feeding and mealtimes more enjoyable.