Concerned That Your Child Hasn’t Reached Certain Milestones at the Same Rate as Their Peers?
As parents, we are often told that all children are different, and learn, grow and develop at their own pace. We know this is true, but despite knowing we shouldn’t, many of us find it difficult not to compare the things our child can do to what their peers might be doing. If you have concerns that your child isn’t developing motor, social or language skills at the same rate as other children their age, talk to your GP, child and family health nurse or paediatrician who will be able to assess your child for a developmental delay or refer you to a professional who can help.
What is a Developmental Delay?
When children are slower to develop physical, emotional, social, communication and thinking skills than expected, it is referred to as a developmental delay. The good news is that early intervention can make a big difference for children with a suspected or confirmed developmental delay diagnosis. So, if you have suspicions that your child’s development isn’t on track, trust your instincts and speak to your health care provider. You know your child best, and the sooner you can start early intervention, the better for your child and your family.
What is Early Childhood Intervention?
Early childhood intervention is the term used to describe services and support that help children (0-6 year-old) with developmental delays or disabilities.
Early intervention often focuses on four key areas – physical development, cognitive development, behavioural development, and social and emotional development. The therapies used as part of early intervention address these areas in several different ways, and many children benefit from a combination of therapies.
Occupational therapy can help with fine motor skills, play and everyday skills such as holding a crayon, dressing, or toileting.
Physiotherapy can help with gross motor skills, balance and coordination. This can be helpful for children who need extra help with skills such as sitting, crawling, and walking etc.
Psychological therapy can be useful for children who require help forming relationships, coping with their emotions, and developing social skills.
In addition to helping children with speech, speech therapy can also help children with other related skills such as chewing, sucking and swallowing.
Early intervention is the best way to support children with disabilities, autism or other additional needs including developmental delays, and can help improve their abilities and learn new skills. It’s important to note that intervention is likely to be more effective when it is provided earlier in life, so is you have any concerns about your child’s development don’t hesitate to speak to your health care provider. The early years are critical for the whole family. The sooner you can get a diagnosis for your child, the sooner you can learn how to support and nurture your child’s needs.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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