Developmental disabilities are various chronic conditions caused by mental and / or physical disabilities. People with developmental disabilities encounter problems with major life skills, such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. Developmental disabilities begin any time from birth to age 22 and generally last a person’s entire life.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a new study published in Pediatrics “Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997-2008” reports an increase in problems in children in the last 11 years . The number of any developmental disabilities increased from 13.87% to 17.1% in that period. That means there are roughly 1.8 million more children with developmental disabilities recently compared to the previous decade.
There was another terrifying number stated in the research: the prevalence of autism increased by 289.5%. Furthermore, the data from this study showed that boys had twice the prevalence of any developmental disabilities than girls and, more specifically, had a higher prevalence of ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, stuttering / stuttering, and other developmental disabilities. .
Developmental disabilities begin with developmental delays in early childhood. Pediatricians can usually signal that they suspect something and want the child to be examined or evaluated for developmental delays. However, only 15% of pediatricians called developmental specialists have experience with normal and abnormal child development.
Sometimes pediatricians will tell parents not to worry because each child is different and develops at their own pace. It is true that each child is unique, but developmental milestones are the same for all. There are no exact ages to reach milestones. Instead, there are windows of time for them. Milestones must be achieved within the established timelines, in the established order, and without missing any milestones.
If delay is suspected, a developmental evaluation is recommended. For physical delays, a physical therapist can evaluate the child and conclude if an intervention is necessary. Some children will qualify for government sponsored programs. A study published in Pediatrics “Prevalence of Developmental Delays and Participation in Early Intervention Services for Young Children” concludes that “… the prevalence of developmental delays that make children eligible for Part C services it’s much bigger than previously thought. ” The study states that the majority of children who are eligible for government-sponsored services do not receive services for their developmental problems. Some problems receiving services can be attributed to the inconvenience of finding a pediatric therapist and scheduling an appointment at a time convenient for the child and his / her parents / caregivers.
This is where private home pediatric physical therapists come in. They can come to the child’s home to provide services at convenient times, with minimal or no waiting times, and in most cases, they will accept the child’s insurance so that parents do not have to pay out-of-pocket costs. The visits will be nothing like a doctor’s office visit. The child will participate in a fun game while working on their developmental skills.
The pediatric physical therapist at home will use special toys, music, therapy balls, etc., to encourage the child to move around safely. Therapy will be provided to help the child reach all developmental milestones on time, so that future developmental problems are eliminated or significantly decreased. The main goal of therapy will be to move toward independent exit.