Monday, March 8, 2010

Developmental delay?

What do you do if you think your baby might be developmentally delayed?  First it's helpful to know the developmental milestones children are expected to reach at different ages.  Information on developmental milestones for ages 3 months to 5-years-old is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

If you feel your child may be developmentally delayed and you live in the United States, you can get a free evaluation and assessment under the IDEA program (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). 

According to the web site for the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY):
IDEA requires that your child receive a timely, comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation and assessment. The purposes of the evaluation and assessment are to find out:
  • the nature of your child’s strengths, delays, or difficulties, and
  • whether or not your child is eligible for early intervention services.
Multidisciplinary means that the evaluation group is made up of qualified people who have different areas of training and experience. Together, they know about children’s speech and language skills, physical abilities, hearing and vision, and other important areas of development. They know how to work with children, even very young ones, to discover if a child has a problem or is developing within normal ranges. Group members may evaluate your child together or individually.
The earlier children with developmental delays start getting help, the better off they will be.

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