Developmental delay means that a child is falling behind their peers in achieving the developmental milestones in an area of development. There are five areas in which development may be affected:
- Cognitive development
- Physical development, including vision and hearing
- Communication development
- Social or emotional development
- Adaptive development
Babies and toddlers have a lot of new skills to learn, so it’s always of concern when a child’s development seems younger than would normally be expected. If you are concerned that your child may have a developmental delay, a good starting point is to consult our developmental milestones page. This resource is categorized by age and is a timetable for skills that is expected.
We know that developmental milestones come in a range and not all skills come in at the same time for all children. Your child is unique and may not learn skills at the same pace as his/her peers. From our experience, we know that children who are exactly the same age may learn the same skill months apart but both can be considered “on schedule” or “typical” for their age. If you are concerned, trust your instincts and call your pediatrician. He/she can refer you to your local early intervention team.