• Dr. Amber Brooks

What to Do if Your Child Has a Developmental Delay

Every parent asks me how a developmental delay their child is experiencing came to be. Each situation is unique and requires a different answer.

The delay could look like ADD, ADHD, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), autism, sensory processing disorder (SPD), Asperger’s, or oppositional defiance disorder, to name a few.

In some cases the delay is a symptom with no diagnosis. Having a diagnosis is not necessary to go forward with care, because your goal should be to get to the root of what is causing the symptoms and treat your child as a whole, not just address the disorder.

No matter how small or large the delay may be, there is always an underlying reason.

There are many compelling ways children develop abnormally. Some include the improper introduction of food, genetic factors, environmental factors of delays, such as chemicals, vaccinations, food sources, geographic area, activities, and daily habits.

Most parents take their children to a pediatrician for regular check-ups where children are screened for developmental milestones. If at any point doctors have reason to be concerned, they will refer parents to a developmental pediatrician for a thorough evaluation.

When “no” means “yes”

We have been programmed to follow doctors’ orders without question.

When a parent has a concern about development, in many instances the doctor will say, “Your child will catch up,” or, “They will outgrow it.” And, my favorite, “He is a boy. They’re just slower.”

These responses can be extremely frustrating for a family.

So, if you are told, “don’t worry about it,” and still doubt your doctor, then get another opinion from a doctor who specializes in special needs or developmental delays.

This is imperative since care is generally easier when kids are younger and results can be realized more quickly. The longer you wait, the worse your child’s delays could get. It’s always better to know if something is going wrong.

Once a problem is identified, you can get to work on healing.

As a parent, you may have lingering concerns even though your child’s doctor tells you that everything appears to be fine.

My advice is to quench your curiosity and dig as deep as you need to until you are satisfied with the answer.