Developmental Delays

At Therapy Services of Greater New York, we specialize in sensory integration therapies. One of them dealing with developmental delays in children. Every child develops at their own rate, but it’s important to note that a developmental delay is not something to take lightly. It’s more than just being behind. When there seems to be an ongoing delay or multiple occurrences of delays, it’s important to act before it becomes a severe issue for the child later on in their life. The primary cause of the delay could stem from the following:

  • It’s hereditary.

  • Problems throughout the mother’s pregnancy.

  • A premature birth.

  • Issues with their environment.

  • Suffering from certain medical conditions.

While these are all recognized as causes of developmental delays, there are still many cases where the reason is unknown.

What is the difference between developmental delays and developmental disabilities:

When a doctor is explaining whether your child has a developmental delay or disability, it’s important to recognize the difference between them. They are not the same, so using the terms interchangeably is not acceptable. When you notice your child has been struggling, you may want to have a doctor evaluate them. From that evaluation, your doctor will be able to guide you in the direction of the proper services your child may need. They’ll also be able to figure out whether your child is suffering from a delay or a disability. The main differences can be noted below:

  • Developmental disabilities are issues that kids will not outgrow or eventually catch up to their peers in certain areas. These issues or conditions tend to make learning more difficult for the child, yet it is not considered a learning disability.

    • Examples include - Down syndrome, Autism, Angelman syndrome, brain injuries, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

  • Developmental Delays are considered short-lived issues, or early warning signs of learning and attention issues. For the most part, with early intervention, kids will be able to work through these difficulties. If the child is still struggling though by the time they’re ready to enter school, they could be eligible for special education services.

Five areas of developmental delays:

Young children or infants can experience developmental delays in one area or multiple. When there is more than one developmental delay, it’s considered a global developmental delay. To outline the main areas where children often experience delays, we’re breaking it down to the following main skills:

  1. Cognitive skills

    • These skills deal with the child’s ability to think, learn, or solve problems.

  2. Social/Emotional skills

    • These skills help your child relate to others, which can be demonstrated when they express and control their emotions.

  3. Speech/Language skills

    • These skills deal with how your child uses and understands the human language.

  4. Fine/Gross Motor skills

    • When a child is struggling with these skills, it has an effect on small muscles (fine) and large muscles (gross) in their bodies. For infants, this could affect the way they pick up toys or hold items, while older children could have trouble running or jumping.

  5. Daily living activities  

    • Having trouble with activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing themselves can be considered a delay as well.

While all children develop at different rates, noticing any of the following issues should be your cue to visit a doctor. Early intervention will only help your child in the long run. You’ll be able to work with your physician and school district to accommodate the needs of your child so that they can succeed.

How can we help?

There are many different treatment options for children suffering from developmental delays. The most common forms of treatment tend to be physical therapy or behavioral and educational therapies. Luckily, Therapy Services of Greater New York is a practice that specializes in occupational and physical therapy services to treat children suffering from these conditions. Along with a fully equipped sensory gym as well as specialized approaches, your child will have plenty of treatment options available to cater to their needs.

Early diagnosis is essential when it comes to developmental delays in children. Contact Therapy Services of Greater New York today to learn more about our practice and set up an appointment ASAP!