CP News For You!
So, you are at the pediatrician's office for your child's well check. Most pediatricians will ask routine questions such as: when did you child first roll-over, when did he/she sit-up, stand-up, walk and so on. Depending on your answer, your pediatrician may ascertain that your child is developmentally delayed. What does that mean? By definition, developmentally delayed means: the condition of a child being less developed mentally or physically than is normal for its age. Well that could mean a whole lot of things….including that your child may be content and isn't really in a hurry to take charge of their body yet. However, it could also mean that your child is unable to take charge of their body.
If your story is anything like mine, the labeling of your child as developmentally delayed is just the beginning of the use of all kinds of terms and labels to describe your child that are foreign to you and may at times be just overwhelming! However, it has been proven that if a child is indeed developmentally delayed, early interventions are critical and can make a HUGE impact on a more successful outcome for your child in the long term. So, by definition, developmentally delayed is still a broad description of a condition and must be narrowed down further. The term interventions is also broad and will need to be defined. Typically, medical interventions are actions taken to improve a situation. So as an example, physical therapy is an intervention that will aid with walking.
The first step in getting a handle on those definitions is by reaching out to experts. The Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT or IDEA sets out to ensure that children with disabilities are serviced through public schools to address their educational needs. Here is some more information about that.
In Fairfax County, Virginia, there is an intake department for that purpose. If you suspect your child has a developmental delay , or your child has been diagnosed with a developmental delay, please call Child Find. Likely, you will need to complete a questionnaire and then an early childhood professional will get in touch with you to determine the next steps which may include some interventions. Other local school systems have similar departments. Do a search engine search for"children with disabilities in <the name of your local school district> " e.g. Children with disabilities in Arlington County Public Schools.
Now back to those definitions…you will hear a lot of terms that you are not familiar with. I found it most helpful to type the questionable word in a search engine search bar. I learned a lot! Talking to other families with similar stories is also quite helpful.
If I can be of help to you, please write to me.