Developmental Delay

Children grow and develop at their own pace, and if they’re a little behind their peer group, it is usually nothing to worry about. However, severe, ongoing, or multiple developmental delays can be a sign of underlying issues and potential problems in the future. At Newport Children’s Medical Group, in Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach, California, the team of pediatricians diagnose developmental delays and provide treatment and support to help your child thrive. Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today for expert pediatric health care.

What is a developmental delay?

As your child grows up, there are milestones that they’re expected to meet within certain age ranges. The age ranges for developmental milestones in language, thinking, and motor skills represent the average, and there are always children that develop skills more slowly or rapidly than their peers.

A developmental delay occurs when your child doesn’t develop the skills they need, and it impacts their day-to-day functioning.

What are the signs of a developmental delay?

The different types of developmental delays cause a variety of symptoms. For example, if your child has a motor skill developmental delay, they might have symptoms, such as:

  • Limbs might be floppy or stiff
  • Limited movement in arms and legs
  • Inability to sit independently by around nine months
  • Involuntary reflexes or movements
  • Inability to put weight on legs or stand by approximately 12 months

Children also learn to speak at different rates and can develop speech or language delays. Speech delays occur when a child isn’t using as many words as expected by certain ages — for example, most children start to use words between 12-15 months and use brief sentences around the age of three.

Language delays develop when children don’t understand what other people say to them or can’t express themselves. This could include speaking, gesturing, signing, or writing.

You know your child best, and if you’re concerned about their development, make an appointment to talk to a pediatrician at Newport Children’s Medical Group.

How are developmental delays diagnosed?

The team at Newport Children’s Medical Group provides comprehensive development screening. Your pediatrician looks for specific signs of development at your child’s checkups.

If they’re concerned about your child’s progress or if you raise concerns, they schedule additional testing like the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) to evaluate several aspects of your child’s development.

How are developmental delays treated?

Your pediatrician provides customized treatment plans to help your child thrive, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Depending on your child’s needs, they might recommend:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy

Your doctor can also collaborate with your child’s teachers and other educators to create an individualized education program (IEP) to ensure your child has the support they need to achieve their potential at school.

Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today if you’re concerned about your child’s developmental progress.