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Infant Milestones (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Parental concern about their child's development has been shown to be very effective in identifying children with developmental delays. Thus, parents should consult with their primary care professional whenever a concern arises regarding their infant's development. Although a range of several months exists during which time babies should achieve each developmental milestone, failure to reach milestones within these established ranges is abnormal and associated with a probability of a developmental disability.

During a baby's regular check-ups, a primary-care professional usually monitors and charts developmental progress. Many doctors use standardized screening tests to identify children who are at risk for developmental disabilities so they may be referred for further evaluation and intervention.

Some infants are at a high risk for developmental disorders and their development should be monitored more closely. This includes babies with birth defects, genetic disorders (some are identified prenatally), metabolic abnormalities, and neurological problems (such as seizures or feeding problems).

If a delay in a child's development is suspected, it is important to resist the temptation to wait and see. A child may be referred for hearing and vision testing or further specialty consultation and evaluation. Early diagnosis and intervention are very important in improving the long-term outcomes for developmental disorders of all types.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014

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