What are Cognitive Developmental Delays?
How Common are Cognitive Developmental Delays?
Cognitive development delays are the most common types of developmental disorder. According to the Center for Disease Control, cognitive delays occur in approximately 12 of every 1,000 children and can range from mild and moderate to severe and profound.
What Causes Cognitive Developmental Delays?
A cognitive developmental delay can have one of many causes. The most common causes include the following:
– A child may inherit abnormal genes or a chromosomal disorder. Examples include Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or phenylketonuria (PKU).
– A child can develop a cognitive delay as a result of injury during pregnancy or inability to develop within the womb. Natal conditions such as the presence of drugs, alcohol, or infections (e.g. rubella) can also cause cognitive delays.
– A child can develop a cognitive delay as a result of problems during birth or labor (such as inadequate oxygen or prematurity)
– Exposure to poison (such as lead or mercury), malnutrition, inadequate medical care, and untreated diseases meningitis or whooping cough can also cause cognitive delays.
What are the Signs of Cognitive Developmental Delays?
Signs of cognitive developmental delays are recognizable as early as 24 months of age. You should contact your doctor if you observe the following:
- Sitting, crawling, or walking later than other children
- Difficulty speaking
- Short attention span; inability to remember things
- Lack of curiosity
- Trouble understanding social rules or consequences of behavior
- Trouble thinking logically
- Infantile behavior that persists into preschool and school years
- Lack of age-appropriate adaptive/self-help skills
What is the Method of Diagnosis for Cognitive Developmental Delays?
Professionals evaluate and diagnose cognitive delays by looking at two factors: intellectual functioning and adaptive functioning.
– The child undergoes a test to measure ability to learn, solve problems, and understand the world (sometimes referred to as an intelligence quotient or IQ exam).
– The child undergoes an evaluation to determine ability to develop skills needed to live independently.
What are Common Coexisting Conditions in Children with Cognitive Delays?
Children with certain diagnoses are more likely to have concurrent cognitive delays that require intervention, therapy, and treatment. These diagnoses include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or Down syndrome among others.
What is the Treatment and Outlook for Cognitive Developmental Delays?
Although there is no exact “cure” for an intellectual disability, there is plenty of help available to help your child live a fulfilling life. Most children with cognitive developmental delays can learn to do many things. It just may take them more time and effort to do so.
For example, The Warren Center offers Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) that helps infants and toddlers. In addition, a therapist might help design an Individualized Program to advise how you can help your child practice and learn adaptive skills at home. For older children, we offer Clinic Therapy Services & Group Therapy services to help them develop social skills and transition smoothly into special education programs at school.