As Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month comes to a close, we wanted to bring an awareness and understanding to what developmental disabilities are, and how they are diagnosed. Hollie Sobel, PhD, shares some information during this important month.

What are Developmental Disabilities? Developmental Disabilities are a group of conditions that affect physical, cognitive, language and/or adaptive functioning. A set of norms have been established as to when a child should reach certain milestones. These milestones include crawling, walking, and talking. Watch your child to see she/he progresses.

Get assessed. If you notice that your child is not meeting the expected milestones for his or her age, consult with a pediatrician or psychologist.  These specialists can assist with the assessment process.

Assessments may include the following areas:

  • Cognitive Functioning to determine level of intelligence and academics
  • Communications Skills, which can be tested even before a child begins to speak
  • Motor Skills include gross motor (e.g., walking) and fine-motor (e.g., manipulating blocks, writing)

Early intervention is key. Early intervention promotes age-appropriate growth and development. Diagnosing early means a child can receive the resources and supports he or she needs.

Once diagnosed with a developmental disability, a child is eligible to receive extra services at school or at home to build on the weak areas. This could result in:

  • Closing the gap without the need for continued intervention.
  • Continuing to receive additional services within a general education classroom.
  • Placement in a special education classroom.

Never feel you are alone in your child’s developmental path. Help is always available.

Hollie Sobel, PhD, provides individual, family, and group psychotherapy. Hollie Sobel, PhD, has specialization in using researched-based cognitive-behavioral techniques with children and adolescents to improve mood, decrease levels of anxiety, and enhance functioning across home, school and social settings. She includes children/adolescents and parents in the treatment planning process, as family involvement is often important in reaching treatment goals.

To read Hollie Sobel, PhD’s full bio or make an appointment, visit our webpage.

The Family Institute offers affordable therapy and assessment services at our Chicagoland locations. Visit our website to learn more.