What to Do If You Think Your Child Has a Developmental Delay

Developmental Screenings and other Early Intervention Resources in EVERY State 300x361 What to Do If You Think Your Child Has a Developmental Delay
As parents of babies and toddlers, we are constantly evaluating our child to see whether he/she is developing “normally.”  What we quickly find out, however, is that there really is no “normal” as every child seems to develop at a different pace.  When Big Brother was just 2 months old, I was fully convinced he was hearing impaired.  He barely passed his hearing test at the hospital (in fact, he failed it the first time) and would not startle or wake up for VERY loud sounds (i.e. his crazy mother beating pots and pans by his bedside to ‘test’ his hearing).  After driving his doctor crazy with my concerns, we scheduled another screening with an audiologist when he was just 9 weeks old.  As it turns out, his hearing was just fine.  He was just a REALLY sound sleeper.

 

This isn’t always the case, however.  Sometimes our concerns can lead us to discover that there really are some developmental delays.  As parents, it is our job to be an advocate for our child.  And the best way that we can advocate for them is by educating ourselves and taking action when necessary.  Early intervention can make a world of difference for a child with developmental delays!

 

Thankfully, there are a wide variety of resources that can help us (as parents) evaluate how our child is progressing developmentally.  Our Your Baby, Month-by-Month Posts can be a  helpful resource for birth through 7 months.

 

I have also used all of these books and found them to be helpful, although the first is the most comprehensive:

 

If after looking over a list of developmental milestones in any of the above sources you begin to have some concerns, I would encourage you to do 2 things:  (1) talk to your doctor and (2) sign your child up for a developmental screening.  A developmental screening is almost always free and is simply a tool to make sure that your child is on track.

 

If there are some legitimate delays found by the individual conducting the screening, he/she will be able to provide you with resources and expertise to help your child.  Early intervention is key in helping your child with developmental delays!

 

The following contact information comes directly from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY).  These resources are for children birth to 3 years old.  If you have a child older than this, you’ll want to look at the Preschool Resources for each state.

 

 

Alabama:
Alabama’s Early Intervention System
Department of Rehabilitation Services
Division of Early Intervention
602 S. Lawrence St.
Montgomery , AL , 36104
(800) 543-3098
(334) 293-7500
(800) 499-1816 (TTY)
contact form on web site
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Alaska:
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 Arizona:
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Arkansas:
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California:
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Colorado:
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Connecticut:
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Delaware:
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Florida:
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Georgia:
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Hawaii:
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Idaho:
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Illinois:
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Indiana:
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services
Bureau of Child Development Services (BCDS)
402 W. Washington Street, Room W-386
Indianapolis , IN , 46204
(800) 441-7837 (in IN)
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Iowa:
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Kansas:
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Kentucky:
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Louisiana:
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Maine:
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Maryland:
Early Childhood Intervention and Education
Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street, 9th Floor
Baltimore , MD , 21201
(410) 767-0261
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Massachusetts:
Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood and Special Health Needs
Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Boston , MA , 02108
(617) 624-5901
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Michigan:
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Minnesota:
MN Help Me Grow: Infant and Toddler Intervention
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Mississippi:
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Missouri:
Special Education Services
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City , MO , 65102
(573) 522-8762
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Montana:
Developmental Disabilities Program
Department of Public Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 4210
Helena , MT , 59604-4210
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Nebraska:
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Nevada:
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New Hampshire:
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New Jersey:
Department of Health and Senior Services
Division of Family Health Services
Early Intervention System
50 E. State Street
P. O. Box 364
Trenton , NJ , 08625-0364
(888) 653-4463 (NJEIS Referral)
(609) 777-7734
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New Mexico:
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New York:
Bureau of Early Intervention
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower Building, Room 287
Albany , NY , 12237-0660
(518) 473-7016
(800) 522-5006 (“Growing Up Healthy” 24-Hour Hotline)
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North Carolina:
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North Dakota:
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Ohio:
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Oklahoma:
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Oregon:
Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Department
Office of Special Education
Department of Education
255 Capitol Street N.E.
Salem , OR , 97310-0203
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Pennsylvania:
Bureau of Early Intervention Services
Office of Child Development and Early Learning
Department of Education and Public Welfare
333 Market Street, 6th Floor
Harrisburg , PA , 17126-0333
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Rhode Island:
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South Carolina:
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South Dakota:
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Tennessee:
Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS)
Tennessee Department of Education
Division of Special Education
710 James Robertson Parkway, 7th Floor
Andrew Johnson Tower
Nashville , TN , 37243-0375
(800) 852-7157
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Texas:
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Utah:
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Vermont:
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Virginia:
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Washington:
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West Virginia:
West Virginia Birth to Three
Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health
Bureau of Public Health
350 Capitol Street, Room 427
Charleston , WV , 25301
(800) 642-9704
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Wisconsin:
Division of Long Term Care
Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 7851
Madison , WI , 53707-7851
(800) 642-7837
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Wyoming:
What to Do if You Think Your Child Has Developmental Delays 300x361 What to Do If You Think Your Child Has a Developmental Delay

Comments

  1. says

    THANK YOU for sharing about these important programs! My daughter was born premature and we are not utilizing Early Intervention services! As a teacher, I cannot stress how important it is to get your child help. As a mommy, you know your child the best! If you suspect something is off, chances are pretty good it is!!! GO with your gut!!!

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing this. Our 2 year old is developmentaly delayed and we have had a great experience with Florida Early Steps. It is so important to have this support available early. I have seen my daughter some a long way thanks to early intervention and great therapist.

  3. Stephanie Hungerford says

    I was born before early intervention was popular. My mom knew I had a hearing problem long before the doctors were willing to entertain the idea that instead of being “mentally retarded” I was almost completely deaf. When I was a year old my mom took me to a different doctor and pointed out that I had done everything sitting up, crawling, walking at about the same time as other kids the only think I wasn’t doing was responding to anything that required hearing. Taking, babling, turning toward my mothers voice. The doctor looked in my ears and I had so much fluid and other obvious damage to my eardrum that he told my mom I was deaf but most likely I could get some or all of my hearing back with surgery. They did the surgery when I was 18 months old and I was terrified of sound when I first heard it. I entered kindergarten 2 years behind in speach development. I still have a hard time Hearing the very slight differences between similarly sounding words. But with intensive speach therapy most

  4. says

    The Gesell Developmental Observation Assessment is a wonderful tool to determine developmental age and ability. The assessment includes a parent questionaire, a teacher questionaire and a 19 task assessment given by a certified Gesell administrator. The 19 task assessment considers the developmental abilities of the whole child. The administrator uses the questionaire and the assessment to calculate the develpmental age of the child. Check out gesellinstitute.org

  5. Wendy May says

    Hi! I just started a business using the Denver II developmental test to help catch problems early. The test covers personal-social, fine motor-adaptive, language and gross motor.. I am in the Atlanta area. My passion is early intervention so I love your site.

  6. Ann says

    Thanks for making these links available! Having worked in prevention and early intervention programs in the past, these are so helpful and some parents do not always know. In Maryland, every county has one number to call for parents/professionals to make referrals/ask questions.
    Thanks!

  7. says

    Thanks so much for your post! I cannot agree more that getting help as early as possible makes a big difference. Students with developmental delays can be just as successful as any student as long as they get the help they need.

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