Each child develops at a different pace and may reach developmental milestones a little earlier or later than other children of the same age. However, there are definite blocks of time when most children will meet a milestone.
Developmental Delay is when your child does not reach his/her developmental milestones within the expected time-frame. It is an ongoing, major delay in the process of development. If your child is slightly or only temporarily lagging behind, that is not called developmental delay.
These delays can occur in all or one of the areas of development such as Physical Development, Cognitive Development, Social and Emotional Development, Language & Speech Development, Adaptive Development. An early evaluation can help getting immediate remediation for the child in that specific area.
Symptoms may vary from child to child, it is important for parents to recognize the symptoms that warrant attention. Please seek professional help if you observe one or more of the following characteristics in mild to severe forms:
Developmental delays may affect your child's speech and language, his/her fine and gross motor skills, and/or his/her personal and social skills. It is important to watch for signs of delays in development, and to get help from professionals if you suspect problems. The sooner a developmentally delayed child gets early intervention, the better their progress will be.
A Developmental Evaluation is also helpful in diagnosing Autism, Asperger's, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and other Pervasive Developmental Delays. These disorders are characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication and have a life long impact. The sooner you recognize your special needs and seek intervention, the greater the chances that your child can be helped to overcome their difficulties.
Selecting the right professional is very crucial for diagnosis and treatment of a problem. It is important to understand the differences between a Psychologist, a Psychiatrist, a Counselor, a Therapist, a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Social Worker. Please go through our "How to Select a Therapist" section to learn about the main differences among various mental health professions.
Our practice of psychologists is conveniently located in the heart of Northern Virginia and we serve Gainesville, Manassas, Centreville, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Chantilly, Reston, Herndon, Dulles, Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, Woodbridge, Dumfries, Quantico, Triangle, Haymarket, Warrenton and other areas in Prince William County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Culpeper County, and Washington DC.