Developmental delay occurs when a child does not reach expected stages of development on time. Delays can occur in one or more areas, including fine and gross motor skills, social-emotional skills, problem-solving skills and language skills. Such delays become evident when children fail to reach developmental milestones, such as walking and talking, usually when they are in preschool, though sometimes earlier and sometimes later. Early identification of developmental delays is important to ensure that treatment can be started as soon as possible.
Because the diagnosis of developmental delay is so broad, professionals at the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) perform comprehensive evaluations to determine areas of development that may be delayed, identify how significant a delay may be and evaluate potential medical, genetic or behavioral reasons for the delay. Developmental Medicine specialists are trained to recognize normal and abnormal developmental and behavioral patterns, including language, cognitive, motor, social, and psychosocial/emotional components, in children, and youth of all ages.
MMI’s health professionals determine if treatment is necessary and provide detailed consultation to parents and caregivers in developing an individualized treatment plan. MMI therapists collaborate extensively with surrounding school districts to ensure that each child receives adequate services, which may be in addition to supplemental therapy at MMI. They also review a child's general healthcare maintenance and general medical services and make recommendations to the primary care physician regarding additional services that patients with specific disabilities may require.
Additional services may include speech-language therapy, occupational and/or physical therapy, behavior therapy and social skills training. At MMI, parents are considered key partners of the treatment team. Moms and dads are heavily-involved in the decision-making process as they constantly serve as their child’s number one advocate. Parents are the ones who ultimately implement treatments in the home, which is why they are vital in helping to unlock a child’s potential.