Childhood Care: Why Identifying Neurodevelopmental Disorders Early Is KeyMay 08, 2023
There are many types of neurodevelopmental disorders that can be identified during childhood. We take a look at why it's crucial to identify them early.
Every parent wants the absolute best for their child. Acting on early developmental concerns can make a big difference.
Early intervention is key to helping children develop to their full potential, improve their abilities, and learn new skills. Neurodevelopmental disorders are typically associated with developmental problems of the central nervous system.
Variations and delays can affect the way the nervous system receives, processes, stores, or responds to stimuli. If you notice any signs of developmental delay, speak up and ask for a screening.
Here's a look at why it's important to identify neurodevelopmental issues early.
Signs of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
As your child develops, it's critical to make sure they're meeting clinical milestones. Your healthcare provider can identify any significant delays and make a recommendation for early intervention.
Common neurodevelopmental disorders include autism, learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and others.
Concerning signs include:
- Failing to meet milestones such as crawling, sitting up, or holding things
- Not responding to outside stimuli
- Doesn't reach, point, smile, or wave
- Doesn't make eye contact, lacks eye control, or eyes appear crossed
- Cannot follow simple instructions
- Doesn't imitate words or actions
All children are different, and neurodevelopmental issues do not always present in the same way. Most developmental disorders present in early childhood.
What Is Early Intervention?
The signs and symptoms of Neurodevelopmental Disorders vary. Treatment methods vary depending on the needs of the child.
Some common intervention methods include:
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy to enhance fine motor skills for daily living
- Physical therapy to improve physical capabilities such as walking
- Behavioral therapy to correct or minimize negative behaviors
Early intervention works best when the family, doctor, caregivers, teachers, and members of the community work together. The treatment plan should be emphasized at home and school.
Benefits of Early Intervention
Early intervention is crucial for any child who exhibits signs of neurodevelopmental delay or neurobehavioral issues. The first two years of a child's life are critical for development as their nervous system tissue grows and matures.
During these early years, the brain is the most responsive to therapy and environmental stimuli. If you're concerned about your child's development, don't hesitate to talk to your child's doctor or schedule an appointment with an intervention specialist.
Early Intervention Works
Every child develops differently, but if you or your child's healthcare provider notices developmental delays, early intervention is key. It can change the developmental path of a child with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Families also benefit from early intervention and are better able to meet their child's needs from an early age. If you're noticing that your child isn't developing with their peers or is missing milestones, our functional medicine team can help.
Although we prefer to see your child in person, we do offer virtual visits as well. We'd love to hear from you.
Contact Dr. Ohara today to schedule a consultation.