What Can I Do if I Notice Delays in My Child?
All parents get concerned sometimes about if their child is developing on schedule. Every child progresses differently and has their learning style. If you notice that your child has delays, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. Whether it be speech or physical, you can schedule a speech and language evaluation or an occupational and physical therapy evaluation. These therapists will determine where your child is developmentally and if therapy is recommended. Here are some tips to keep your child moving forward.
Many activities can be beneficial to your child’s development. According to understood.org activities like slime, Play-Doh, or putty can help your child develop or improve fine motor skills. Dancing or digging in the dirt can have the same effect on gross motor skills. Socializing with other children on the playground can help develop turn-taking, sharing, and following rules. Swinging, climbing, or playing tag helps your child stay active and develop physical skills. It is crucial to your child’s progression to give them the most opportunities to build those skills.
Many children need something to look at to help them stay on track. Having simple charts outlining daily activities allows your child to develop structured routines. These charts break down the steps of everyday tasks, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, or washing hands. Be sure to read the steps clearly and to use simple language, so they are easy to understand and follow. Creating a consistent routine will help your child with healthy habits and life skills.
STAY IN TOUCH
Knowing where your child stands on the developmental chart can ensure that you can take the steps necessary to help your child. Keep in touch with your pediatrician or other healthcare professionals who know what is typical for a child’s development. These professionals can inform you about appropriate skills for your child’s age. They can also help rule out hearing or vision impairments, which can get in the way of development.
Early intervention is a service for children from birth to age three who are behind on their developmental milestones. These services are conducted in the community or at home and focus on physical, cognitive, communication, self-help, and social or emotional skills.
Discuss this with your child’s healthcare provider, and they can refer your child for an early intervention evaluation. If your child is found eligible, an early intervention team will work with you to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan lays out goals and services to help you and your child.
Keep Your Child on Track
Noticing your child having some delays is the first step. Following the steps above will benefit your child’s further development. Knowing who to speak with and where to go for help is the best information you can keep on hand. Don’t let your child’s slower progression worry you. There are plenty of options to help.