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Never 'Wait and See' When You Have Concerns About Your Child's Development

If you are concerned about your child's development, if they are not meeting developmental milestones, or if they have lost skills they once had, get help as soon as possible.

Early intervention is available in every state under federal law, at no or reduced cost. Families do not have to wait for a referral from professionals to receive early intervention. If you are concerned about your child’s development, you may contact your local early intervention program directly to ask for an evaluation. ⭐You can find your community’s early intervention office by: 👉 Asking your child’s pediatrician, child care provider, or teacher for a referral; 👉 Calling your state department of health or education; 👉 Following this link to find the Early Intervention program in your state.

Children should be evaluated by experts in the areas that you have concerns. This may include a Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, or Physical Therapist.

What do these professionals do, and how could they help your child?

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)

Speech and language therapy helps clients with speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders:

  • Speech sound disorders: difficulty producing speech sounds correctly, speaking fluently, or problems with voice or resonance.

  • Language disorders: trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language).

  • Social communication disorders: trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication.

  • Cognitive-communication disorders: problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving.

  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia): are feeding and swallowing difficulties.

  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • People who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems.

Visit for more info on SLPs.

Occupational Therapists (OTs)

Occupational therapists help children develop the skills required for essential daily activities by:

  • Developing skills for essential daily activities

  • Establishing/restoring skills and abilities following an injury or disability

  • Maintaining and preserving performance capacities

  • Modifying the environment or context to meet a child’s current needs

  • Preventing disabilities

A child may benefit from occupational therapy services if they have:

  • Delays in meeting developmental motor milestones (including rolling, sitting, walking, etc.)

  • Difficulty eating and feeding

  • Poor sleep and regulation

  • Difficulty with hand eye coordination that can affect ball skills and handwriting

  • Poor fine motor skills (such as holding a pencil, using scissors, stringing beads, playing Legos)

  • Poor gross motor skills (jumping, climbing, kicking, etc.)

  • Poor sensory integration (vestibular, proprioception, tactile, vision, auditory, smell, taste)

  • Difficulties with social interactions

  • Difficulties with basic self-care skills (dressing, bathing, teeth brushing, etc.)

  • Poor attention, problem solving skills, memory

Physical Therapists (PTs)

Physical therapists identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems. Physical therapists design treatment plans specific to each person's needs, challenges, and goals. They work together with you to develop strategies and help you achieve your goals.

Physical therapists and PTAs care for people of all ages and abilities. They help people maintain or restore as much function as possible. Physical function and movement are very important to

· Maintain health, wellness, and fitness.

· Manage pain.

· Maintain independence.

for more info on PTs.


Visit for information on developmental milestones.

Visit for more information on the process of receiving services.

Visit to request assistance or information.


Skyrocket Pediatric Therapy Foundation (SPTF) does not provide medical or legal advice or services. SPTF provides general information about developmental disabilities and developmental therapies as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. SPTF has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. The views and opinions expressed in blogs on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of SPTF.

Written by Rachel Troccoli, M.A., CCC-SLP.


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