If you think that your child is not developing at the same pace or in the same way as most children his or her age, it is often a good idea to talk first to a specialist. Explain your concerns. Tell the specialist what you have observed with your child. Your child may have a developmental delay, or he or she may be at risk of having a delay.
The term “developmental delay” means that a child is delayed in some area of development. There are five areas in which development may be affected:
- Cognitive development including understanding and talking
- Physical development, including vision and hearing
- Communication development including speech
- Social or emotional development including behaviour
- Adaptive development including play and engagement
Early intervention is a system of services that helps children with developmental delays. Early intervention focuses on helping to learn the basic and brand-new skills such as:
- physical (reaching, rolling, crawling, and walking);
- cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems);
- communication (talking, listening, understanding);
- social/emotional (playing, feeling secure and happy); and
- self-help (eating, dressing).
Early Intervention services include therapy from disciplines like occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech & language therapy, psychology and special education. The therapies will be tailored to meet the child’s individual needs.