What are developmental disabilities?
Developmental disabilities refer to a wide range of lifelong conditions. They can impact a child's mental development (for instance, dyslexia), physical development (for instance, cerebral palsy), or both (for instance, Down syndrome). The team at the Woodbridge office of AAA Pediatrics can help diagnose and manage these conditions.
While some disabilities are found at birth, others are found when children miss development "milestones" - skills that most children learn by a certain age. Recognizing that a child may be delayed in reaching one or more of these milestones is important to the early detection and treatment of developmental disabilities.
For this reason, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with a general timeline of child development, and to be on the lookout for your child's progress.
There are many developmental milestones and this is not an exhaustive list! Your pediatrician can provide you with a more comprehensive list, and perform an evaluation if needed.
At birth: has sucking, rooting, and grasping reflexes, pulls arms and legs in after hearing a loud noise
1 month: feeds well, reacts to bright lights, reacts to loud sounds
3 months: supports their own head, grasps objects, smiles, reacts to new faces
6 months: rolls over, sits with help, laughs, babbles, reacts to strangers
9 months: responds to name, sits without help, points at things, reaches for objects
1 year: crawls, stands with support, says single words, responds to words
2 years: walks, runs, jumps, says words together, responds to simple directions, plays "make-believe".
Do keep in mind that these milestones are not absolute and that children have huge variations in how they develop. One exception is a child losing progress that they had previously made, which is a red flag that should be brought to your doctor's attention as soon as possible.
In all cases, if you or a caretaker for your child has concerns about a possible developmental delay or disability, it's important to consult a medical professional. Please call or visit the Woodbridge office of your doctor at AAA Pediatrics for more information.
Remember, early diagnosis and intervention can make an enormous difference for a child with a developmental disability. The more quickly a child's condition is caught and managed, the more you will enable them to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Call AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge at (703) 580-6400 today if you have any questions or concerns!