So you’ve noticed that your little one is not doing things like other little ones around them. Maybe they aren’t using words like other children at the library, or walking like their older sister did. Maybe they don’t want to play with other children at all.
First, I want you to take a deep breath, in and out. Did that? Okay, take another one.
The fact that you are noticing these things and asking questions is great. This is the first step to getting the support you need for you and your child. And, trust me, there is a lot of support available!
Let’s get one thing clear: every child develops at their own pace, and there is a wide range of what is typical. Just because that one kid at playgroup knows his colors and loves to sing doesn’t mean that your child should be doing the same thing. There are a lot of great resources where you can see what’s typical for a child that age. Do a little bit of investigating and make sure you are doing good research! Just please, please, please stay off the message boards! If you must, take everything with a grain of salt.
Here are some good ways to check what typical development looks like:
Ask your pediatrician. Don’t wait! Go ahead and ask your pediatrician to do a developmental screening like the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) or the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT). These screenings will ask questions about what your child is doing in different areas of development, like how they are getting your attention or playing with others.
Go to a trusted website. Try ones that are research-based, like the CDC’s or Zero to Three’s milestone pages.
Reach out to your state’s early intervention or Child Find programs. They will often know who to refer you to and do a screening if necessary. The people at these programs will ask about what your concerns are, and may do a screening or evaluation like the ones mentioned above.
I don’t want you to freak out until you’ve done one more of those options.
Scratch that. I don’t want you to freak out AT ALL.
Know that you are doing your best as a parent, and asking for help is not only okay, it’s encouraged. Please trust your gut and reach out. Two things will happen: either you’ll be told not to worry and that your baby is on track, or you’re going to start getting the support you need.
Worried about your child’s development or need help getting resources? Know that your baby is delayed and want to get the support you need? Contact us to schedule a free consultation!