Tracking your child’s development is critical at an early age to set up your child’s future success. While all children are different, realizing delays allows for early intervention and therapy. From speech and communication skills to sensory and eating habits, ensuring your child is growing appropriately is important. ABC Pediatric Therapy are experts in the region, treating developmental delays and offering dozens of therapy services such as: speech therapy, physical therapy, picky eating treatment, and more. Here are tips ABC recommends to help your child if you suspect a developmental delay. Unsure what steps to take next? Consult the experts at ABC Pediatric Therapy.
If your child chooses to eat certain foods and refuses to try new things, implement some of these strategies to help your child during mealtime.
- Allow touching of non-preferred foods with fingers
- Only introduce one new food at a time in small portions
- Introduce new foods at the beginning of the meal when the child is hungry
- Give choices such as asking your child Do you want three or five green beans?
- Do not require a clean plate
Red flags to watch out for the signal your child might need professional help:
- Inappropriate weight gain or loss
- Choking, gagging, coughing, or vomiting with eating
- Difficulty with accepting different textures of foods
- Not accepting an entire food group such as fruits, vegetables, and meats
- Food interests include fewer than 20 foods
- Child fights with parent about foods or mealtime
Difficulties with Speech
Speech skills involve a child’s ability to communicate wants and needs to others. In order to communicate, they need to learn to use the correct words, sounds, and understand what others are saying to us. To help your child with their speech, try:
- Reading books with your child and emphasizing sounds, specific vocabulary, and grammar
- Play red light, green light. Each time there’s a red light, have your child practice using their words
- Model sounds of animals, cars, and other noises
When our body takes in information from the environment through our senses, it travels to our brain so we can respond to it. From registering movement through visuals to feeling through touch, children learn to process sensory input as they develop. If you have sensory concerns try:
- Try slowly rocking, swinging, or gliding side-to-side
- Use a weighted blanket when your child is napping
- Gently massage their back, arms, and legs with lotion
Find out if your child is on track by using a Free Online Screening Tool
It’s important to have a baseline of developmental milestones to keep track as your child grows. ABC’s interactive screening tool asks questions about fine and gross motor skills, sensory, and speech to understand if your child is meeting crucial developmental milestones.