A cognitive developmental delay can have one of many causes. The most common causes include the following:

GENETIC CONDITIONS – A child may inherit abnormal genes or a chromosomal disorder. Examples include Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or phenylketonuria (PKU). PREGNANCY CONDITIONS – A child can develop a cognitive delay as a result of injury during pregnancy or inability to develop within the womb. Natal conditions such as the presence of drugs, alcohol, or infections (e.g. rubella) can also cause cognitive delays.

BIRTH CONDITIONS – A child can develop a cognitive delay as a result of problems during birth or labor (such as inadequate oxygen or prematurity)

HEALTH CONDITIONS – Exposure to poison (such as lead or mercury), malnutrition, inadequate medical care, and untreated diseases meningitis or whooping cough can also cause cognitive delays.

WHAT IS THE METHOD OF DIAGNOSIS FOR COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS? Professionals evaluate and diagnose cognitive delays by looking at two factors: intellectual functioning and adaptive functioning. INTELLECTUAL FUNCTIONING – The child undergoes a test to measure ability to learn, solve problems, and understand the world (sometimes referred to as an intelligence quotient or IQ exam).

ADAPTIVE FUNCTIONING – The child undergoes an evaluation to determine ability to develop skills needed to live independently.

WHAT ARE COMMON COEXISTING CONDITIONS IN CHILDREN WITH COGNITIVE DELAYS? Children with certain diagnoses are more likely to have concurrent cognitive delays that require intervention, therapy, and treatment. These diagnoses include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or Down syndrome among others. https://thewarrencenter.org/help-information/cognitive/what-are-cognitive-developmental-delays/