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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Causes of Developmental Delay

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common types of developmental delays are due to mental retardation, brain trauma and/or social/emotional disorders. Maintaining child well-health checkups, understanding the types of developmental delays and being aware of early warning signs of developmental milestones can significantly reduce severe developmental delay.

Disorders that contribute to developmental delay include genetic, neurobehavioral, social/emotional, neurological, metabolic and many types of language disorders. Chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects, brain trauma and mental retardation are also contributing factors.
Delayed or a lack of development in developmental milestones in language, self-help, social/emotional, fine and gross motor, or sensory and cognitive skills is an indicator.
Maternal risk factors, such as maternal age and unhealthy behaviors during pregnancy, genetics, certain diseases, prenatal/neonatal events and the environment can lead to developmental delay.
Expert Insight
Bilingual children may experience speech and language delays. If a child has been exposed to more than one language, extra encouragement should be used to increase receptive and expressive language skills. An evaluation by a speech and language pathologist can rule out any serious concerns.
A developmental delay may cause problems in other developmental areas, and may contribute to poor self-esteem as a child grows older.
Genetic counselors offer perinatal testing to rule out possible hereditary and disease risk factors. Adopting healthy habits can eliminate maternal risk factors. Tracking early developmental milestones, seeking early testing and intervention can increase the chances of a successful outcome.

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