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Toddler massaging with ball his foot. Exercise stimulates right development of foot.
Railroad Set

 Developmental Delays

What is developmental delay?


Developmental delay is the term used when a young child is slower to reach milestones than

other children. Delay may occur in the way a child moves, communicates, thinks, learns or

behaves with others.

What are the common features of developmental delay? 

  • Difficulties producing controlled speech.

  • Difficulty controlling breathing and phonation.

  • Slow language development resulting in a language delay.

  • Difficulties combining physical movements into a controlled sequence.

  • Difficulties establishing the correct pencil grip and age appropriate speed of writing.

  • Poor balance (sometimes even falling over in mid-step).

  • Problems with spatial awareness.

  • Trouble picking up and holding onto simple objects due to poor muscle tone.

  • Trouble with body awareness, and invading other people’s personal space.

  • Difficulties achieving and maintaining continence (of bladder, bowel or both).

  • Bed-wetting (nocturnal enuresis) is common.


Why should I seek therapy for my child with developmental delay?

If your child is having developmental delays it is important to consult a  Speech Language Pathologist or Occupational Therapist specialized in Early Intervention to receive an evaluation to see if they require therapeutic intervention. 


If left untreated  the child with developmental delay may have difficulties with:



  • Following instructions 

  • Lack of vocabulary due to limited word knowledge.

  • Learning to talk, speech intelligibility and clarity.

  • Poor strength and endurance.

  • Self esteem and confidence when they realize their skills do not match their peers.

  • Fine motor skills (e.g. writing, drawing and cutting) due to poor core stability.

  • Completing self-care tasks (e.g. doing up shoelaces, buttons, zips, using cutlery).

  • Self regulation and behavior.

  • Inattentiveness

  • Social communication and social isolation difficulties.

  • Poor academic performance.




What type of therapy is recommended for early intervention?

Diagnosis alone is NOT the solution. It simply opens the door to getting the help that is needed by arming all involved with the relevant information.

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