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Developmental Delay, Developmental Screening and Early Intervention


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What is Developmental Delay?

Developmental Delay refers to your child’s inability to reach a normal range of developmental milestones by a particular age. These milestones can refer to your child’s physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional or social norms. Your child’s development depends largely on the nutritional, medical, emotional, and intellectual support of his/her parents, family and the community. Approximately 17 % of children in the United States have some form of developmental delay (e.g. Autism, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Early experiences during the first 1000 days of your baby’s life affect how their brain develops. As we rethink the balance between individual and shared responsibility for our young children, Delaware’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Initiative seeks to ensure the health and well-being of all young children—especially from birth to age three.

Why is Developmental Screening important?

When a developmental delay is not recognized early, children miss a vital opportunity to maximize their brain’s full development.  The brain development operates on a “use or lose it” rule. Therefore, if a developmental delay is not identified early the developmental delay will leave the child struggling to do normal activities that would have come much easier if early intervention services were obtained.

How can I help my child’s development?

Communicate and connect with your child at birth. Parents and caregivers can do little things to foster their children’s healthy cognitive and emotional development, like talking to your child from birth, beginning to read to them at a very early age and helping them play simple games. Parents play the most important role in providing the nurturing and stimulation that children require. On occasion, parents also need information on resources and support to develop good parenting skills. The QT:30 Campaign is a resource the ECCS program has created to support parent and child play to increase brain development. Ask your pediatrician about developmental screening using the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) validated tool. To learn more about your child’s development dial 2-1-1 for Help Me Grow or the visit the websites below:

 

Return to Delaware’s Early Childhood Program Home Page



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