8 Steps to Take If You Suspect Your Child Has a Developmental Delay

During a child’s first stages of life, an immense amount of development takes place. When it comes to developmental timelines, each child will have a unique journey. One baby might start babbling at six months, while another might not start this stage until nine months.
While these differences are completely normal, ongoing developmental delays are more concerning. The good news is that there are many ways to help combat these situations. If you’re wondering how to help a child with a developmental delay, you’re in the right place. 

How to Help a Child With a Developmental Delay

If you think your child might have a developmental delay, it’s best to act as soon as possible. Every child is different, but we have a set of guidelines and steps you can take to ensure that you’re beginning an action plan.

8 Steps You Can Take to Help Your Child With Developmental Delays:

1. Monitor Milestones

Developmental milestones are skills that a typical child should achieve by a certain age, including playing, learning, speaking, acting, and moving. For example, a common milestone for a 2-month-old is smiling.
Developmental tracking is something that parents and caregivers can do on a regular and ongoing basis to make sure that a child is progressing at an adequate pace.

2. Educate Yourself

To recognize that your child might be experiencing a developmental delay, you must first educate yourself on what those delays are. The main types of delays to look out for include cognitive, motor, social, emotional, behavioral, and speech.
Take a look at a helpful child milestone guide so you can familiarize yourself with what your child should be achieving.

3. Refer to BabyNet

BabyNet is South Carolina’s interagency early intervention system for infants and toddlers under three years of age with developmental delays, or who have conditions associated with developmental delays. 
If you suspect that your child might be undergoing developmental issues, reach out to BabyNet to find out what your next steps should be.

4. Get a Professional Evaluation

When it comes to your child, you don’t have to tackle issues alone. Reach out to a professional and request an evaluation. Early intervention services always start with a professional evaluation to determine your child’s specific needs and set realistic goals. 

5. Enroll in Early Intervention Services

If your child has a developmental delay, it’s best to enroll your child in early intervention services as soon as possible. Early intervention is designed to improve outcomes for children with developmental delays and disabilities and includes a wide range of services designed to support the child’s family. 

6. Educate Your Family and Loved Ones

No parent wants their child to feel different or inadequate. Similarly, parents don’t want other people in their life to think something is wrong with their child. The best way to combat this is by educating your family and loved ones.
As you equip yourself with important knowledge regarding developmental delays, share your information with the important people in your child’s life. Let them know what’s going on and how they can help.

7. Play With Your Child

Did you know that playing is crucial in child development? According to psychologist Jean Piaget, “Play is the work of childhood.”
Play helps children learn life skills and it’s how they learn about themselves and the world around them. It teaches them to cooperate with others, embrace their creativity, solve problems, and improve their fine and gross motor skill

8. Keep a Positive Attitude

When your child has a developmental delay, it’s never easy to deal with. However, it’s important to try and keep a positive attitude. Children are incredibly susceptive and will feed off of your emotions and attitude.
Remember – you’re not alone. Many other families are going through the same things that you are and it doesn’t mean anything negative about your child.

Help a Child With a Developmental Delay — Contact An Early Intervention Specialist You Trust

If you suspect your child has a developmental delay, the time to act is now. At About Play, we’re here to help guide you through any challenges and get your child the support they need to learn and grow. To get started, contact us online today.

If you live in South Carolina and think your infant or child is experiencing developmental delays, we can help.

where do we offer early intervention services?

Our services are available for babies, toddlers, and their families in almost every county in South Carolina.

Click on your county to see the early interventionists available.