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Developmental Delay

Parents often wonder if their child’s development is on target. While all children grow and develop differently, it is important to be aware of guidelines for tracking healthy development.

Developmental delay is when your child does not reach certain motor, speech and social milestones at expected ages, such as smiling for the first time or taking a first step.

Your child reaches these milestones by playing, moving, learning and speaking. Children hit milestones at their own pace. If you know the general guidelines for when infants and young children should be able to complete certain developmental tasks, you can recognize potential problems.

If you are concerned, speak to your pediatrician right away. Your child’s early development is crucial to his or her ability to learn additional skills later in life.

In many instances, the cause of the delays may never be found. For some children, a genetic or metabolic condition is the reason for the developmental issues, especially if they have abnormal physical features or additional physical symptoms.

With the help of therapy, your child may be able to overcome these delays over time. In other cases the delays may slowly improve, but indicate an underlying genetic disorder, neurologic condition or other medical condition such as autism spectrum disorders, hearing loss or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

In general, the earlier developmental delays are recognized and treated, the better the long-term outcome.

At Indiana University Health Medical Genetics, we work with a team of developmental pediatricians, neurologists, geneticists, psychologists and therapists, including the child development team at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Together, we are dedicated to diagnosing and treating children with developmental delays.

We use a multidisciplinary approach to assist children affected with developmental delays. Your child may be seen by one of several specialists throughout Indiana University Health. Children are generally referred to the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health developmental pediatrics department if delays are present.

A neurologist may evaluate your child for neurologic symptoms. If the neurologist suspects a genetic or metabolic condition, a genetics specialist or your primary care physician may order initial testing or refer you to a geneticist.

At Indiana University Health Medical Genetics, we partner with the IU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics to give you and your child access to the many resources and specialists your child needs to live a healthy life.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Developmental Delay Treatment Information

Our physicians, geneticists and counselors work with pediatric specialists on a collaborative program to address your child’s developmental delays. Treatments generally consist of one or more forms of therapy including speech, occupational, physical or developmental. You may also need services from Indiana University Health dietitians, psychiatrists and social workers. We connect you with these specialists. 

Developmental Delay Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

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Developmental Delay Support Services

Learn more about developmental delay treatments at these websites: