What’s a developmental delay?


What’s a developmental delay?
The term “developmental delay” is an important one in early intervention. Broadly speaking, it means that a child is delayed in some area of development. There are five areas in which development may be affected:

Cognitive development
Physical development, including vision and hearing
Communication development
Social or emotional development
Adaptive development
Developmental milestones | Think of all the baby skills that can fall under any one of those developmental areas! Babies and toddlers have a lot of new skills to learn, so it’s always of concern when a child’s development seems slow or more difficult than would normally be expected. NICHCY’s developmental milestones page outlines some of the typical skills that babies and toddlers learn by certain ages. It’s a good resource to consult if you’re concerned that a child may have a developmental delay.

Definition of “developmental delay” | Part C of IDEA broadly defines the term “developmental delay.” But the exact meaning of the term varies from state to state, because each state defines the term for itself, including:

describing the evaluation and assessment procedures that will be used to measure a child’s development in each of the five developmental areas; and
specifying the level of delay in functioning (or other comparable criteria) that constitutes a developmental delay in each of the five developmental areas.
What’s your state’s definition? | Clearly, it’s important to know how your state defines “developmental delay.” Find out more about that definition by visiting NECTAC, the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, at: http://www.nectac.org/~pdfs/topics/earlyid/partc_elig_table.pdf

Read more about developmental delay | NICHCY offers a fact sheet on developmental delay that you may find helpful in understanding the developing child, what to do if you’re concerned about your own child’s development, and where to turn for more information.


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About aoschmidt

Founder of My College and Career Coach (Part of My Balance LLC) as well as Next Step for Special Needs (501C org) and an Emotion Code Practitioner. I LOVE helping people to prosper! I am the mother of 6 (2 mine and 4 are his) and 2 of these children have special needs. My educational background includes a BS in Psychology and a MS in Counseling and Guidance. Over the past 20 years, I have been assisting families, with special needs children, from birth to graduation and beyond, for FREE! I have been helping these families while working full time in the field of education as a school counselor and learning how the educational system works from both sides (as an educator and a parent). I have been helping families to navigate the medical and educational systems as well as obtaining other services that are available to their children. See ABOUT page for full company profile. Follow the blog via email or join us on Facebook!

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