How To Support Your Child With Developmental Delay

Nothing compares to being a parent. It’s a unique experience in itself, but if you have a child with developmental delay, you may face various challenges that other parents may not experience.

Children with chromosomal disorders may vary in the developmental delays they have. It could be in terms of cognitive skills, language and communication, or even physical development. Children with these issues may have learning difficulties, problems with motor skills, or delays in speech development.

Whether this is due to heredity or a prenatal or postnatal development, these children require extensive and lifelong support, especially from their parents. However, providing the support they need could be challenging if you’re not sure how and where to start.

This article discusses various ways you can support your child with developmental delay.

Check On Their Feelings From Time To Time

If your kid has limited speech, they may not be able to properly communicate their feelings. You need to be sensitive and take the initiative to monitor their emotions and check in on them from time to time.

For example, if your child has autism and they show signs of restlessness, such as tantrums, difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, and more, they may be anxious or stressed about their surroundings. You need to ensure you’re at their side when this happens, and you should comfort them with reassuring words and hugs. Doing so will allow them to feel cared for and help them understand their feelings, which helps reduce their anxiety and stress over time.

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Seek Professional Help

As mentioned, children with developmental delay have dysfunctions that you should make considerations for. However, this is not something you can handle on your own. It would be best to seek professional help so that your child can learn to cope and so that their behaviors and issues are more manageable.

Depending on their dysfunction, they may require services meant to help with specific issues, such as intellectual disability support or physical therapy. You need to ensure that they work with the right professionals who can help guide their development in the best way possible.

If you have the resources, you may want to sign your child up for private sessions with several professionals, as this is an excellent and effective way for you to provide support. The following professionals may be able to help with your child’s development:

  • Developmental-behavioral pediatrician: They can measure a child’s cognitive capability and determine which aspects should be given more attention. They can help your child develop their behavior, learn how to communicate effectively, and reach their full potential.
  • Occupational therapist: They can help your child become independent by teaching them how to do activities involved in everyday life, such as taking a bath, using utensils during meals, getting dressed, and other tasks that require hand dexterity.
  • Physical therapist: They can provide treatment to children with physical conditions like club feet, gait pattern abnormalities, and short neck issues, which put the child at risk of dislocation, fracture, and spinal cord injury.
  • Speech therapist: They can learn the child’s nonverbal communication methods and help turn those into words for better communication.
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Play With Them

Another way of supporting your little one with development delay is to play with them. Typically, different activities can help your child build essential skills. As they learn these skills, they get closer to achieving independence, making their everyday life more manageable.

For example, if you want your kid to develop their fine motor skills, you can suggest that you both craft something using nontoxic clay. For gross motor skills, you could dance together or play tag in the yard.

Playing with your child also has the additional benefit of teaching them social skills, such as following rules, taking turns, and sharing.

Help Them Understand You

Children with developmental delay may have difficulty understanding the things you say. This can be frustrating for them and you, especially if you feel that this prevents you from supporting them properly. Fortunately, there are different ways you can help them understand you. These include the following:

  • Using stories with pictures to explain a particular situation
  • Using visual charts to break down the steps of everyday tasks, such as washing hands and getting dressed
  • Using music to convey what you want to say
  • Simplifying directions if you’re saying them out loud

Bottom Line

Supporting a child with developmental delay may be challenging, but if you keep the above mentioned information in mind, you can make the experience easier for both you and your child. With the collaborative efforts of family, friends, and various professional experts, you can do everything to ensure that developmental delays don’t hamper your little one from achieving their full potential and attaining an excellent quality of life.

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