Development Delay

About developmental delays

A child is considered to have a developmental delay when they are behind in the achievement of one or more developmental milestones.

We know that as a child develops, he or she passes through developmental milestones, such as babbling, imitating sounds made by others, using one word and speaking in sentences. Developmental delay occurs when a child has not reached these milestones by the expected time period e.g. if a two year old has not begun requesting in one or two word sentences for a few things they really like and want,then this would be considered a developmental delay.

It is important to note that there is a variance in when children meet milestones, but it is always recommended that if you have any concerns or are seeing behavioural issues as well as delayed milestones, such as frequent crying, screeching or tantrums that you contact a professional.

Keep in mind,that having a developmental delay does not necessarily mean your child will require a diagnosis or will have life-long struggles. It may simply mean that they need specialized teaching. If problems are addressed quickly, you can greatly reduce the intensity and duration of intervention that will be required.

There are a number of different types of developmental delay.

Pervasive developmental delays are to do with delays to a child’s communication and social skills. Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders are the best known pervasive developmental disorders.

A Global Developmental Delay means that a child has delays across all areas of development.

Degenerative Disorders is when a child appears typically developing at birth, but then loses skills or functions over time.

Developmental disorders are often diagnosed in infancy or early childhood and affect many aspects of a child’s life including cognitive skills and behaviour, as well as the ability to communicate and socialise.

The symptoms can vary hugely from child to child – and for children who are very mildly affected symptoms may get missed.

Some warning signs to look out for are :

  • Is your child able to ask for the things that they want or do they simply point and make gestures toward the things they want?
  • Does your child engage in frequent tantrums and inappropriate sounds such as screeching?
  • Does your child engage in meaningful play or are they constantly “on the go”?

Helping your child with a developmental delay

NETwork Interventions has years of experience helping children with developmental delays. One of the most successful approaches in helping children with developmental delays is Verbal Behaviour which focuses on the development of language and communication skills.

A Verbal Behaviour programme will be designed to address your child’s unique needs and skill set, and will incorporate non-verbal communication, as well as spoken language development. The language and communication skills will be taught to your child’s interests and motivations, making a programme as natural as possible – an approach which is called Natural Environment Teaching.

Teaching social skills and communication will reduce your child’s levels of frustration and isolation, and can also prevent the development of acquired conditions frequently associated with developmental delays, including challenging behaviour, depression and sleep problems.

Did you know?

In nearly all of the children we have worked with who have a developmental delay, the exact nature of the delay has never been accurately pinpointed. By identifying the exact form of the delay, a highly effective programme can be designed and implemented for your child.

The next steps...

Contact us today to find out how NETwork is helping families and schools like yours. 
For more information and resources please get in touch with us.

"Our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s aged 7; NETwork Interventions spent a day observing him at school and at home and quickly identified the skills he was lacking – skill deficits that we - and others working with our son - had not picked up on. NETwork Interventions trained us to help our son learn those missing skills. The results have been remarkable – he no longer cries about going to school, his concentration and behaviour are much better and he is far less likely to alienate others by the things he says. Thank you."
Parent in Surrey

"It is always a pleasure talking to Lu and Shelley - we think they are superstars!"
C & C, Ottawa

"We started an informal intervention for our 18 month old last week, Zack. Lu came for an observation around a month ago. This was followed by Shelley spending two days with our family last week. Our 18 month old had three signs and plenty of motivation and social intent, but no requests for items or people. He had a few unintelligible requests for activities and just sounds or unintelligible words for when he labels things. We have done our research. As professionals in the field of child development and with ASD and ADHD in our extended family, we know that it is better to act earlier rather than later. We didn’t want a heavy or burdensome programme for reasons of time, of finance and also of emotion. Admitting there may be a problem is actually very difficult. Last week was extremely draining emotionally in this capacity. We know that prevention is necessary as there is no firm cure and we can’t take the risk of not intervening and waiting another six months as our GP and Paediatrician told us. Shelley came to the farm with us, came swimming with us, to the park and to granny and grandpa’s home with us. She did day to day life with us such as bath time and bed time. The first day Shelley watched what life was like for me, balancing home, children, marriage and work. Life is hectic. The second day we swapped roles and she put recommendations in acting as I would and then supported me to implement it. She is coming back on Thursday to see how we are getting on and she is returning with a new schedule for me after going away to analyse it these last few days. We are absolutely thrilled with Zack’s progress already. His Gymboree teachers commented on his language ‘explosion’. His aunty, who does not know that we are running this intervention, commented on how much Zack is talking this week. I am confident that within a few months, Zack will not have a spiky developmental profile and it looks as though he will have even more skills than his peers at this rate. This is fun and I am so grateful to Shelley, Lu and Ruth who, together, have created the ‘perfect programme’ for us."
Luke, Louise, Lyndsay and Zack, Surrey, England

"This week I have been feeling very defeated with my son changing campuses at school. At the end of my call with Shelley I was filled with hope again. That is why I love our calls. Not simply because of the work with my son, but because Shelley always helps me to see a way forward. "
Gem, Brisbane

"I have had previous counselling for over two years but left because of no progress. I am finding the experience with Liz different in a very positive way. After just four sessions I am seeing great progress."
M, London

"The observation and assessment period that NETwork complete at the beginning is difficult to understand at the outset, but it turns out that it is an intricate process that [does] indeed find the issues to work on and subsequently address and resolve."
Mum, Quebec

"Dillan had significant behavioural issues and received a very late diagnosis of NVLD when he was 9 years old. This diagnosis did little to help our family. Louise quickly and efficiently set up a programme for our teenage son which rapidly identified his strengths and weaknesses. Shelley taught us and his teachers how to best address these, including language deficits which had previously remained unrecognised, Louise’s team worked within our budget, working hours and extensive travel commitments, working closely with school and our local authority to ensure everybody was on board and funding accessed. At times it felt as though Louise was coordinating a small army. Additional support of parent-counselling through Louise’s team proved invaluable, even though we were originally a little sceptical. It most likely made the difference between success and failure in our ability as parents to sustain a positive family unit whilst implementing the programme. We worked with NETwork Interventions for just under one year."
Dr Edwards, North London

"We would like to say a massive thank you for your hard work during the 2 day assessment. We are so grateful and highly impressed with your level of knowledge, confidence, professionalism as well as the kindness and respect shown to our family. Now, we really believe there is light at the end of the tunnel."
Monica, UK

Signup to get regular news and tips from our Network