When You Have Concerns About Developmental Milestones

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Dear “And You Will Have Kids”:

I am writing to you because I have some real concerns about our toddler.  This is my first child and I just have this feeling that something is “not right”. 

He is just “different” than my friend’s children.  I don’t know how else to describe it. He is hitting all of his milestones at the very end of the normal range. The doctor tells me that I am just a worried first time mother, but I don’t think that is it. 

What do I do?

Concerned  Mom


Dear Concerned Mom:

I have been where you are at.  I remember how concerned I was about my first child who was also “developmentally delayed”.  I too felt my concerns were brushed off by my pediatrician who said I was just an overly concerned first time mother.  My concerns ended up being very valid.

I would encourage you to trust your judgement.  If you feel that something is wrong, don’t try to minimize or rationalize your feelings.  If your pediatrician isn’t being very helpful, you can get a second opinion.  This may or may not be possible depending upon the type of health insurance that you have.

Another option, may be to get a developmental screening for your child.  You can check with the social services department of your city of county for information on setting up a screening.  You can also check the “blue pages” in the front of your phone book if you live in the United States.  If you don’t find anything there, you can do an internet search for the phone number of the screening department.

Screenings can take a while to set up; it can take several months to schedule and finish the whole process.  Your child will be evaluated by a speech therapist, a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist.  Other therapists may also do evaluations.  They will assess your child’s abilities and if your child has significant delays, the therapists will develop a care plan to work on minimizing those delays.

Even if your child does not have significant delays which warrant therapy at this time, you can get ideas for activities which can help improve your child’s skills.  The therapists may also recommend getting your child another evaluation in a few months to determine if they might meet the qualifications for services at that time.

I wish you the best of luck!


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