Not Just "a Little Slow": What to Do If You Notice Your Child Has Developmental Delay
As children grow, parents anticipate their milestones, which makes it natural to wonder if their development is on track. A majority of children reach every development milestone at an appropriate age, and sometimes, even though they may be a little late, they catch up.
However, even though children develop at different rates, some may take too long to catch up and may have developmental delays. In this case, it’s imperative that parents catch the delay early enough.
Most parents have no idea what to do if your child has a developmental delay. This is what we’ll be discussing in this post.
What to Do If Your Child Has a Developmental Delay
Doctors use the term developmental delay when children miss their milestones within the time range considered normal.
The delays may happen in several areas, including gross motor skills, language and communication skills, self-help skills, fine motor skills, cognitive, and social skills.
Development milestones include target behaviors such as crawling, sitting up, making eye contact, identifying body parts, and pretend play.
If or when you notice your child has developmental delay, the first step you should take is to get advice from your pediatrician. The cause of the delay will highly determine any action you take after this.
For instance, if you are dealing with a birth injury, then you may need to consult a professional birth injury attorney.
How Do You Recognize a Developmental Delay?
All children are different, and as a parent, you need not compare your child to others. This is not an effective way to gauge their developmental milestones and how well they are growing. One of the most fantastic elements of children is the uniqueness of each one.
The milestone guide presents the expected behavior within a given timeframe. For instance, a child should be able to walk between nine to 15 months. However, this is not to say that a 16-month-old baby is delayed.
That said, it is wise to consult a pediatrician in case you may have something to worry about.
One method to find out if your child has a development delay is to detect warning signs. Certain warning signs serve as an alert for deeper issues, some of which include:
- Gross motor skills – If the child is clumsy with minimal or zero hand-eye coordination, floppiness in their arms and legs, or stiffness
- Hearing – If the child does not respond to visual or verbal prompts or if they don’t speak or they talk too loudly
- Vision – If they stare at unusual objects, don’t pick up objects, or hold them too close to their face
- Behavioral – Aggression towards other people, lack of social interaction, not making eye contact, or self-harm, among others
- While most of these may be minor, parents should have pediatricians assess the situation just in case there are serious underlying developmental delays
Is Developmental Delay the Same as Developmental Disability?
Developmental delay and developmental disability are two different things.
Your child is likely to catch up from developmental delays but not from developmental disability. A child may not have a learning disability, but a developmental disability may make learning harder for them.
Developmental disability is caused by autism, fetal alcohol disorders, brain injuries, Angelman syndrome, among others.
Early intervention is vital in both cases.
What Causes Such Developmental Delays?
Developmental delays may be a result of different factors.
Genetics such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome are some of these factors. Medical conditions such as prematurity and others that may affect the ears, eyes, and muscles may also result in developmental delays.
Besides that, trauma such as injuries before, during, or after birth may cause developmental delays.
What Happens If You Are Dealing with a Birth Injury?
Learning that your child suffered a birth injury can be devastating because it could have significant consequences for both you and the baby. Birth injuries vary in type and severity, and parents may need to deal with anything from home therapy to surgery.
Most often than not, birth injuries are a result of negligent doctors, nurses, or midwives. Birth injuries lead to development delays, and if it will compromise the quality of your child’s life, it’s only right that you take legal action against the responsible party.
A birth injury lawyer can assist you in getting the compensat]\ion you deserve to cover your financial losses.
What Are the Consequences of a Birth Injury?
Usually, the aftermath of birth injuries is nothing short of overwhelming.
There are possibly many questions running through your mind. Are these injuries permanent? Will your child ever recover? Will they need long-term care? Will they need surgery?
Not all birth injuries result in legal claims, which makes it essential to get a professional assessment of your child. This will determine the extent of the injuries and what caused them.
With the results, you can make informed decisions about the best action.
What Can You Get from a Legal Claim?
Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may be able to secure financial compensation to cater for medical bills, surgery, or any future care the child may require. However, parents need to understand that birth injury cases can be complicated.
Certain legal factors go into consideration, especially when it’s not clear what happened and who should take the blame. However, this should not discourage you.
If you feel that you may have a case, consult a professional birth injury lawyer, and get the justice your child deserves.
Deal with Development Problems the Right Way
If you are a worried parent and you don’t know what to do if a child has a developmental delay, you need to share your concerns with a professional pediatrician. They may recommend an early intervention institution where your child will be assessed to determine the best solution.
If you discover your child suffered from a birth injury, check out our page to get a free medical malpractice legal consultation.
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