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How To Help Your Child with a Developmental Delay

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Developmental Disorder | 0 comments

Developmental delay in children is quite common, affecting at least 5 to 10% of Australian kids under the age of 8. It can range from mild speech or reading issues to severe physical limitations. The most important thing is to take action as soon as you notice something could be wrong.

But it isn’t always that simple or easy. If you have a child with a developmental delay, it can feel like the whole world is against you. It is quite difficult to decide what to do. Such situations can often be overwhelming for the parents of a child with a developmental delay.

However, with the right help at the right time and a strong support system, your child can thrive in life. Here are a few tips that can actually help you.

Talk to your Child’s Doctor Right Away

This is the first and most important step in helping your child. A developmental delay is usually diagnosed in preschool, kindergarten, or first grade. If your child is over the age of 5 and you think something could be wrong, speak up.

A developmental delay happens when a child’s brain is growing and developing at a slower rate than the norm. This can be due to several factors, including genetics, maternal health, complications during birth, exposure to lead, and extreme prematurity. And early intervention is the best way to help your child overcome developmental delay, and the sooner you know something is wrong, the sooner you can start.


Build A Strong Support Network

You and your child will need a lot of support during the developmental delay journey. Consider reaching out to family and friends to let them know what’s going on so they can understand what they can do to help. If you feel you don’t have anyone you can turn to, seek out support groups online or in your area that are specific to developmental delays.


Keep a Mood chart and Offer Rewards

A mood chart is a visual way for you to track your child’s moods, behaviours, and triggers. Knowing what sets off your child can help you better understand his developmental delays.

Using a mood chart can also help you find small wins and rewards that will reinforce good behaviours and boost your child’s self-confidence. Rewards can be as simple as extra TV time, a trip to the park, or a favourite dessert for after dinner.


Help your child Build Strength with Physical Activity

Physical activity can help your child increase their attention span and improve their ability to focus and concentrate. Sports and games that involve teamwork and cooperation like basketball, and volleyball, are excellent ways to encourage socialisation and boost confidence.

For younger children who may not be ready for organized sports, walking, swimming, and playing in a sandbox are great ways to help them build strength.

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Encourage Independence and Self-care Skills

Kids who have developmental delays are often not as independent as their peers. To help your child improve their self-confidence and gain independence, encourage them to do things on their own. Ensure that they gradually learn how to do things like getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and eating meals on their own.


Try Behavioural Strategies

Behavioural Strategies are ways to help kids either avoid or manage negative behaviours or triggers. You can use these strategies when you see your child getting ready to act out or have a meltdown. For example, if your child frequently gets upset about a messy room, sit with them and talk about what needs to be done, but don’t clean it up for them. You can also enlist the help of behavioural psychologists.


Provide Encouragement and Praise

Most kids with developmental delays are smart, creative, and imaginative. They just need the right tools and opportunities to show off those special skills. Ensure you provide them with ample opportunities to use their skills and creativity. Additionally, praise and encourage them every chance you get.

Keep a journal of your child’s strengths and areas where you think they could improve. Use this journal to start discussions with your child’s teacher, doctor, and therapists regarding the best opportunities for the child.


Wrapping up

The most important thing to remember is that there is nothing wrong with your child. Their brain is just wired a little differently. Remember that developmental delays can affect any child, regardless of race, sex, or family income. When you first learn that your child has developmental delays, it can be scary. But with the right approach, you can help your child thrive. Providence Healthcare can help you with Early childhood intervention services. We ensure that your child gets the help they need.

Tell Us More About You

Providence Healthcare is dedicated to helping the people around us live better and more independent life. Let us know how we can help you.


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