Causes and chances of developmental delay

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 17 percentTrusted Source of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have one or more developmental disabilities.

Most developmental disabilities occur before a child is born, but some can occur after birth due to infection, injury, or other factors.

Causes of developmental delay can be difficult to pinpoint, and a variety of things can contribute to it. Some conditions are genetic in origin, such as Down syndrome.

Infection or other complications during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as premature birth, can also cause developmental delay.

Developmental delay can also be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions, including:

autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)
cerebral palsy
fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Landau Kleffner syndrome
myopathies, including muscular dystrophies
genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome
Remember that children develop at different rates, so it’s possible that what you think of as a delay might be normal for your child. However, if you’re concerned, it is important to get your child evaluated by professionals.

School-age children diagnosed with a developmental delay, may be eligible for special services. These services vary according to need and location.

Check with your physician and your school district to find out what services are available. Specialized education, especially when started early, can help your child progress and achieve more in school.

Treatments for developmental delays vary according to the specific delay. Some treatments include physical therapy for help in motor skill delays, and behavioral and educational therapy for help with ASD and other delays.

In some cases, medications may be prescribed. An evaluation and diagnosis from a pediatrician is crucial to come up with a treatment plan specially designed for your child.