Developmental Delays and Disabilities
Rochester’s Leaders in Pediatric Care
Children may encounter a wide variety of developmental delays as they grow older. Some types of developmental delays are apparent early on in the child’s life, most often those that are physical, while others may not be diagnosed until the individual is nearly 5 or 6 years old.
The board-certified pediatricians at Westside Pediatrics are highly trained in identifying signs of developmental delays and disabilities. If you have questions about your child’s development and would like to consult with a pediatrician, call (585) 247-5400 to request an appointment at our pediatric office in Rochester, NY.
How are Developmental Delays and Disabilities Identified?
During your child’s physical, our pediatricians will perform a routine screening to check that your child is meeting developmental milestones. Symptoms and signs of developmental delays and disabilities can vary in presentation, which furthers the importance of regular pediatric appointments and early identification.
If signs of developmental delays or disabilities have been identified, your pediatrician may suggest involving additional providers such as early intervention providers or developmental pediatricians. Early intervention providers will be selected based on your county of residence. Westside Pediatrics proudly uses the developmental pediatricians at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. We are dedicated to providing as many social and educational resources a family may need as it is our goal to ensure parents receive the adequate support as soon as a developmental delay is identified.
Developmental issues of a physical nature are classified as motor delays. This categorization includes conditions that often affect a child’s coordination. Kids with motor delays will often appear clumsy at a very early age, and will usually experience difficulties in crawling and/or walking.
Common causes of motor delays in newborns and young children include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spina bifida
There are several disorders that can lead a child to experience difficulty in both understanding others and expressing themselves when speaking. Some kids may also encounter issues with speech and communication simply because they are not often stimulated, and therefore do not have frequent opportunities to hone these basic skills.
Instances that involve the delay of social, communicative, or emotional regulation skills all belong to a group known as behavioral delays. Conditions that cause individuals to process information differently than others are often at the root of these developmental delays, which typically include:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
It is also entirely possible for children to experience problems in this particular area of development from a lack of interaction with others, or from negative behaviors that they learned from watching others.
Conditions affecting the development of an individual’s brain will often result in cognitive delays that are typically detected during early years of schooling. These delays can make it challenging for the child to learn at the same pace as their peers, and they may also have trouble communicating with others. Unfortunately, the exact cause of a child’s cognitive delay is not often known.
Delays Versus Disabilities
There is often a lot of confusion about the difference between a developmental delay and a developmental disability. Although many of our patients will hear the terms used interchangeably, there is an important distinction to be made:
- A developmental delay is a temporary condition that can be corrected over time
- A developmental disability will always exist as a part of that person’s life
For example, a young toddler may show delays in the development of their social skills, but it is entirely possible for them to grow out of habits of shyness or introversion. This is a developmental delay. However, if an infant is born with hearing loss then it is considered to be a developmental disability since they will never naturally regain any sense of hearing that has been lost.