There are a few key markers to look for when assessing whether your child should see a professional, especially when it comes to intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Affecting roughly one in six children, developmental disabilities are a diverse group of physical or intellectual conditions that can delay growth. These conditions stem from an impairment in motor skills, learning, communication, or behavior. A developmental disability can present itself in many ways. The following list of questions can help you determine whether your child may be going through a developmental delay.
1. Does Your Child Have Trouble Forming Friendships?
A developmental disability can make it difficult for a child to connect with others. Left undiagnosed or untreated, the disability may hamper the formation of meaningful relationships. Behavioral cues like lack of friendships and social isolation can indicate a developmental or intellectual disability.
2. Were There Issues During Pregnancy?
Intellectual disabilities in children often arise due to issues during pregnancy. If the mother experienced health issues such as an infection, or consumed tobacco or alcohol, it may be wise to take your child to a doctor for a professional diagnosis.
3. Did Your Child Experience Health Issues Shortly After Birth?
Babies who experience health issues such as measles, meningitis, or whooping cough shortly after birth have a greater risk of developmental disability. Exposure to toxins like cigarette smoke, lead, and mercury can also contribute to intellectual and developmental delays.
4. Did Your Child Learn to Walk or Talk Significantly Later than Other Children?
Most children are able to walk and have at least six words in their daily vocabulary by 18 months. If your child seems to be stumbling to reach these milestones, it may be an indication of developmental delay.
5. Does Your Elementary-School-Aged Child Have Trouble Thinking Logically?
Children at this age are usually able to solve simple problems using logical thinking. If your child is often at a loss for how to solve age-appropriate tasks, you may want to consult a doctor. Children develop at their own pace, but there could be cause for concern if you notice that there is a significant delay in your child’s progress toward age-related intellectual goals.
6. Have You Received Calls from Your Child’s Teacher?
Teachers can help parents identify developmental issues in children, especially in the realm of social interaction. Since they spend so much time with your child, teachers will have valuable insight into what could be going on.
7. Has Your Child Lost Previously Acquired Skills?
One of the hallmarks of a developmental disability is the loss of a skill like walking or talking. If your child no longer walks or talks as he or she used to, consider seeing a physician.
8. Do You Have a Gut Feeling that Your Child Has a Developmental Disability?
You may feel that your child responds in an unusual way to certain situations or has trouble interacting with family members and peers. You might simply have a feeling that something does not add up with your child’s development. If so, consider scheduling an appointment with your child’s doctor or a mental health expert.
Learn more about individualized treatment for intellectual and developmental disabilities at Integrity, Inc. by giving us a call today at (501) 406-0442. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Integrity Inc. helps children and their families work through life’s challenges.
Please note that this quiz is only designed to serve as a guide. The results are not definitive in determining whether your child has an intellectual or developmental disability. Consult a doctor or other health expert for more information.