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Developmental delays are sometimes hard to catch, and sometimes hard to miss. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and ask someone if you notice any of the following consistent behaviors in your child – preference for playing alone; extreme resistance to any kind of change; difficulty regulating emotion; unable to read faces for emotional cues. If you notice these behaviors, then your child may be suffering developmental delays which could impact his/her future. Assessment and early intervention make all the difference to the future.

Developmental disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are evident in delays in mental development and language, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior that occur before the age of three. Two other related developmental disorders found in children are Asperger Syndrome, which is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and if a person cannot be diagnosed with the other two disorders due to the required criteria, then they can be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Parents usually recognize signs of Autism at around the age of two where they usually develop gradually, but some children with autism first develop normally and then stop developing, and then may lose the skills already acquired. When the child is one, they may experience a delay in atypical gestures, weak responsiveness, and babbling. These children struggle to participate in normal social interactions in which they find it difficult to ask questions, and they have a tendency to repeat what people say (echolalia).

Children with autism prefer engaging in behaviors or activities that are consistent. For instance, they would display repetitive behaviors such as drawing the same picture repeatedly or flapping their hands repeatedly. . A child should be taken to a therapist if any of these signs occur: no babbling by 12 months, lack of gestures by 12 months, and any loss of speech, or difficulties in social skills.

Beneficial interventions include complete assessment for degree and type of developmental delays, and specific forms of behavioral therapy intended to model and teach helpful interactions. Such therapy is long term and requires specialists certified in autism and related disorders.§ion=Facts+for+Families

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