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Developmental Delay

Understanding Developmental Delay

"As a child grows and develops, s/he learns different skills, such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, or waving goodbye. These skills are known as developmental milestones. A child with a developmental delay does not reach these milestones at the same time as other children the same age.  

Developemental delays can affect one or more areas of functioning such as large (gross) motor skills, fine motor skills, expressive and receptive language, cognition, and social skills.

If you have concerns about your child's development talk to your pediatrician, or contact your local Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA).  Many children show sudden bursts in development rather than slow, steady growth.

Developmental screenings are used by medical professionals to see whether children are developing near the same rate as other children the same age. Parents and caregivers are often asked questions about their child and the professional interacts with the child during the appointment. If the screening confirms concerns about the child's development, the family may be referred to a specialist for more screening and for services.

Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions

Other Resources

  • Smart Start is a program that ensures that more children are screened for developmental delays.

Advocacy and Social Connections

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Contact a resource specialist at 1.800.852.0042 or at


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Developmental Screening Fact Sheet. Retrieved from
  • Oct 10 2014