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
———-
Alaska:
Early Intervention/Infant Learning Program
Office of Children’s Services
State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
P.O. Box 240249
Anchorage , AK , 99524-0249
———-
 Arizona:
Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP)
Department of Economic Security
3839 N. 3rd Street, Suite 304
Phoenix , AZ , 85012
(888) 439-5609 (in AZ)
(602) 532-9960
[email protected]
———-
Arkansas:
Division of Developmental Disabilities Services
Department of Health & Human Services
P.O. Box 1437, Donaghey Plaza, North-5th Floor, Slot N504
Little Rock , AR , 72203-1437
(800) 643-8258
(501) 682-8668
[email protected]
———-
California:
Part C Coordinator
Children and Family Services Branch
Department of Developmental Services
1600 9th Street, Room 330, MS 3-8
Sacramento , CA , 95814
(800) 515-2229
(916) 654-2773
[email protected]
———
Colorado:
Early Intervention Colorado
CDHS-Division for Developmental Disabilities
4055 S. Lowell Blvd.
Denver , CO , 80236
———-
Connecticut:
Connecticut Birth to Three System
Department of Developmental Services
460 Capitol Avenue
Hartford , CT , 06106-1308
———-
Delaware:
Birth to Three Early Intervention System
Department of Health and Social Services
1901 N. DuPont Highway
New Castle , DE , 19720
(302) 255-9135
[email protected]
———-
Florida:
Early Steps
Children’s Medical Services, Department of Health
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-06
Tallahassee , FL , 32399-1707
(800) 654-4440
———-
Georgia:
Babies Can’t Wait Program/Children And Youth with Special NeedsDivision of Public Health
Department of Human Resources
2 Peachtree Street, 11.217
Atlanta , GA , 30303-3186
(800) 229-2038
———
Hawaii:
Early Intervention Section
Department of Health
1350 S. King Street, Suite 200
Honolulu , HI , 96814
(808) 594-0006
[email protected]
———-
Idaho:
Children’s Developmental Services
Family and Community Services
Department of Health and Welfare
P.O. Box 83720
450 W. State Street, 5th Floor
Boise , ID , 83720-0036
(208) 334-5514
———-
Illinois:
Bureau of Early Intervention
Department of Human Services
222 S. College, 2nd Floor
Springfield , IL , 62704
(800) 323-4769 (in IL only)
———
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)
———-
Iowa:
Early ACCESS (IDEA, Part C)
Bureau of Early Childhood
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building, 3rd Floor
Des Moines , IA , 50319-0146
(888) 425-4371 (inquiries/referrals to early intervention)
———-
Kansas:
Children’s Developmental Services
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
1000 S.W. Jackson Street, Suite 220
Topeka , KS , 66612-1274
(785) 296-6135
(800) 332-6262
———-
Kentucky:
Early Childhood Development Branch
Department for Public Health
Division of Adult and Child Health Improvement
275 E. Main Street, HS 2WC
Frankfort , KY , 40621
———-
Louisiana:
Louisiana Part C Early Intervention
Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals
P.O. Box 3117, Bin 21, 682 N. 4th Street
Baton Rouge , LA , 70802
———-
Maine:
Child Development Services
146 State House Station
Augusta , ME , 04333
(800) 355-8611
———-
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
———-
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
(800) 905-8437 (Early Intervention Programs)
[email protected]
http://www.mass.gov/dph/
———-
Michigan:
Michigan Department of Education
Office of Early Childhood Education and Family Services
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing , MI , 48909
(517) 335-4865
———-
Minnesota:
MN Help Me Grow: Infant and Toddler Intervention
———-
Mississippi:
First Steps Early Intervention System
Mississippi Department of Health
P.O. Box 1700
570 E. Woodrow Wilson
Jackson , MS , 39215-1700
(601) 576-7427
———-
Missouri:
Special Education Services
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City , MO , 65102
(573) 522-8762
———-
Montana:
Developmental Disabilities Program
Department of Public Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 4210
Helena , MT , 59604-4210
———-
Nebraska:
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln , NE , 68509-4987
———-
Nevada:
Department of Health and Human Services
IDEA Part C Office
3416 Goni Rd., Bldg. D, Suite 132
Carson City , NV , 89706
(800) 522-0066
———-
New Hampshire:
Family-Centered Early Supports and Services
Bureau of Developmental Services
Concord , NH , 03301
(603) 271-5122
———-
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
———-
New Mexico:
Family Infant Toddler Program
New Mexico Department of Health
2500 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe , NM , 87505
(877) 696-1472
———-
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)
———-
North Carolina:
Women’s and Children’s Health Section
Division of Public Health
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
1916 Mail Service Center
Raleigh , NC , 27699-1916
———–
North Dakota:
Developmental Disabilities Division
North Dakota Department of Human Services
1237 W. Divide Avenue, Suite 1A
Bismarck , ND , 58501
(701) 328-8936
———-
Ohio:
Bureau of Early Intervention Services
Ohio Department of Health
246 N. High Street, 5th Floor
Columbus , OH , 43215
———-
Oklahoma:
SoonerStart
Special Education Services
Oklahoma State Department of Education
2500 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 510
Oklahoma City , OK , 73105-4599
———-
Oregon:
Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Department
Office of Special Education
Department of Education
255 Capitol Street N.E.
Salem , OR , 97310-0203
———-
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
———-
Rhode Island:
Department of Human Services
Center for Child and Family Health
600 New London Avenue
Cranston , RI , 02920
———-
South Carolina:
South Carolina First Steps/BabyNet
Concord Building
1300 Sumpter Street, Ste 100
Columbia , SC , 29201
———-
South Dakota:
Birth to Three Connections
Special Education Programs
Department of Education Offices
Office of Educational Services and Supports
700 Governors Drive
Pierre , SD , 57501-2291
(800) 305-3064 (in SD)
(605) 773-3678
———-
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
———-
Texas:
Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services
Division for Early Childhood Intervention Services
4900 N. Lamar Boulevard
Austin , TX , 78751-2399
(512) 424-6754
(800) 628-5115 (Information & Referral)
[email protected]
http://www.dars.state.tx.us/
———–
Utah:
BabyWatch
Early Intervention Program
Utah Department of Health
P.O. Box 144720
Salt Lake City , UT , 84114-4720
(801) 584-8226
————
Vermont:
Family, Infant and Toddler Program
Department for Children and Families
Child Development Division
103 S. Main Street
Waterbury , VT , 05671-2901
———-
Virginia:
Child and Family Services
Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services
P.O. Box 1797
Richmond , VA , 23218
(800) 234-1448 (Central Directory for Early Intervention Services)
———-
Washington:
Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program
Division of Developmental Disabilities
Department of Social and Health Services
P.O. Box 45201
Olympia , WA , 98504-5201
(800) 322-2588
———-
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
———-
Wisconsin:
Division of Long Term Care
Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 7851
Madison , WI , 53707-7851
(800) 642-7837
———-
Wyoming:
Early Intervention and Education Program
Developmental Disabilities Division
Department of Health
6101 Yellowstone Road, Suite 186E
Cheyenne , WY , 82002
(307) 777-6972 (V/TTY)

9 Comments

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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