Vancouver, British Columbia
Developmental Delays Among Young Children
Children develop at varying rates which is completely natural.
However, some children may experience mild developmental delays that can hinder their ability to effectively carry out various everyday tasks and achieve their potential.
It is a widely accepted view that those children can benefit from early intervention to address such delays and provide them with one-on-one support to prevent the accumulation of functional gaps between them and peers in their age group, especially as they enter the school system.
Does My Child Need Help?
We frequently meet with parents who have concerns or questions about whether their child is developing the way or at the expected pace.
In some cases, their child has already been diagnosed at an earlier stage to be at risk for developmental problems, but sometimes the trigger to such thoughts can be a comment made by a teacher regarding the child’s development or difficulty at school. Examples of such comments can be as vague as “your child needs to work on their fine motor skills”, "your child struggles with self-regulation skills", or as specific as “your child struggles with written output”.
Unfortunately, many parents avoid exploring the issue and accept such comments at face value. It is also not a surprise that thanks to the politically correct society we live in, this is also the preferred way to address such situations by many caregivers.
Advice for Parents
Our advice for parents, founded on many years of working with highly capable children, is to be highly attentive to even the smallest daily struggles a child displays, particularly during the early school years. Below you will find a list of symptoms indicative of such challenges.
Parents are also encouraged to ask the teacher for additional information whenever a potential concern regarding their child’s development is surfaced and specifically inquire about the child’s skills in comparison to their peers.
Most importantly, we recommend that parents and teachers alike do not make any assumptions that these, seemingly minor, developmental gaps will disappear with time. Unfortunately, the contrary is true - such gaps usually widen over time as the functional demands of the child increase.
Symptoms of Developmental Challenges
You should consider contacting an occupational therapist when your child (>4 years) exhibits any of the following symptoms:
Is Early OT Intervention Right for my Child?
It is never easy for a parent to accept that their beloved child has challenges or struggles in life. Moreover, in today's fast-paced and busy life it is seldom easy to find the time, energy or even financial means to take a child to therapy of any kind.
However, like many circumstances in life, addressing issues early on prevents them from growing into problems that are even harder to manage. Early intervention can be instrumental in preventing the secondary complications and longer-term effects of a mild developmental delay, such as learning difficulties, executive functioning challenges, written output disorder, and emotional, social or behavioural problems.
Other reasons to support early intervention are:
Not sure yet? Call us for a free phone consultation.
610 21st Ave East,
Vancouver BC, V5V 1R7
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