No one wants to think their baby is lagging behind in development! We hope our baby will be very clever and ahead of the developmental mile markers. Even if we see our child is lagging behind, it is hard to ask the questions because we are afraid of the answers. Most of the developmental delays can be overcome, especially if they are treated early and correctly. There is no shame in having a child who lags behind, but there is shame if you know it and do nothing about it. Please read about the delays. If you have questions, ask your baby’s doctor. If you are not satisfied, seek further evaluations and follow up on treatments. You are your child’s only advocate in these early years.
For pictures and descriptions of the steps in physical development, download this 8 page booklet. Pathways is used by permission.
Delayed Head Control
This may be the first sign of physical development delays. Please read our Tummy Time and Head Control page.
How to Get a Diagnosis
Step 1: Take Notes
Become the foremost researcher on your child, examining your subject in a variety of different environments and documenting all irregularities. If your child has recurring odd actions that alarm you, keep a diary of what, when and how long. If your child has emotional breakdowns or explosions, keep a chart to see if you can identify what sets them off. You want to be able to specifically document your concerns so that doctors have the most accurate idea of what’s going on and can make the most assured steps toward a diagnosis.
Step 2: Talk to Your Pediatrician
Chances are, your health insurer will require you to go through your pediatrician before tests and specialist visits anyway. But it’s just as well, because your child’s regular doctor will likely have useful insights and advice to give you. While you’re the ultimate expert in your child, the pediatrician is probably the medical professional who knows your child best — certainly better than the specialists who will pop in for a short time, look at one aspect of your child’s life, and see you again in a year. A good pediatrician with whom you have a comfortable rapport is a helpful person to have filtering all those reports and test results and guiding you as to what to do about them.
For more see: How to Get a Diagnosis
When a Doctor says, “Wait and see.”
So you’re worried about your child, and you’ve brought your concerns to your pediatrician, and your pediatrician has uttered the three least satisfying words in the English language: “Wait and See.” Welcome to Worry Limbo! For three or six or eight months, you will be neither relieved of your anxiety, nor empowered to do anything about it. If you’re more proactive than passive, give yourself the go-ahead to try these five calls to action. No waiting required!
1. Ask why.
What specifically will the doctor be expecting to happen or not happen over the course of the waiting period? Is there something in particular that you should be looking to “see”? What would be the downside of moving forward now instead of waiting? What is the significance of the amount of time that has been chosen for waiting? Can you check in sooner than that if your concerns increase? Make your doctor work for that co-pay!
To read the rest of the article and other articles on similar topics go to:specialchildren.about.com
Sometimes babies are born with a condition or special need that can affect their development. Other times a condition is not apparent at birth so over time, the parents or doctors begin to wonder if the child is developing appropriately.
In either situation, a child’s developmental abilities are evaluated. Once evaluated, the child is eligible to receive the therapy or other types of early intervention he/she needs and the family can get the support and education they need.
Early intervention means finding the specific ways to help a child become as functional as possible. In some situations, the therapy a child receives at an early age enables that child to reach developmental milestones on target or close to target. In other words, early intervention can sometimes help a child catch up to peers.
Early Intervention Helps a Child with Major Developmental Areas
Physical development- a child’s ability to move, see, and hear
Language and speech development- a child’s ability to talk, and communicate
Social and emotional development- a child’s ability to play, interact, and relate to others
Adaptive development- a child’s ability to handle self-care functions, such as feeding and dressing
Cognitive development- a child’s ability to think and learn
For questionnaires to assess your child’s feeding, speech, and motor skills and articles on developmental mile markers see: Day 2 Day Parenting.com
Bad Reasons to Avoid Early Intervention
So maybe your pediatrician has talked to you about getting early intervention services for your child, or you’ve let your doubts about your child’s development lead you into making a few phone calls about it. You’re worried about your child, but you’re also worried that getting help will mean there really is something wrong. These five reasons to skip EI may be nagging at you, tempting you to just go on and hope for the best. Don’t listen. They’re bad reasons. Here’s why.
1. I don’t want to label my child.
The “label” your child gets to qualify for early intervention doesn’t go on his “permanent record” — many kids go from EI right into regular education preschools and kindergartens. The idea is to label now so that there’s no need to label later. Because those labels that come later stick a lot harder.
2. My family thinks it’s a bad idea.
Mothers and fathers and in-laws and siblings are always full of advice, but as a parent, the buck stops with you. You spend more time observing your child than anyone, and if you have concerns, they need to be respected — if not by others, then absolutely by yourself. Follow your gut.
3. My child will catch up on her own.
Maybe, but you’re gambling with your child’s life here. When your child is five and still delayed, you’re not going to be able to dial things back and try early intervention. Early intervention will do no harm, and may do a great deal to help. Why take a chance when you don’t need to?
4. Children need to play and have fun, not do therapy.
Sending your child to early intervention is not like sending him to boot camp. It’s fun. Your child will think he’s playing as he does things to strengthen his motor skills and gain meaningful language. You’ll have fun watching it, too.
5. I’ll just work with my child myself.
Terrific! Work with your child yourself! There are lots of hours in the day. Doing early intervention doesn’t mean doing nothing else. You’ll still want and need to work with your child. But chances are the intervention therapists will be able to give you ways to do that so much more effectively.
For many more articles on related topics see: SpecialChildren.About.com
Resources available in the Klang Valley, Malaysia
Professionals for Diagnosis of Learning Difficulties in the Klang Valley, Malaysia
Resources for Special Needs Kids in the Klang Valley, Malaysia