Every parent has heard of developmental milestones. These ‘milestones’ refer to the social, physical, and intellectual behaviors most children exhibit at a particular age. But for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, the typical developmental milestones may not be so helpful. Children with ASD frequently experience developmental delays. They can take a few different forms. Today, we’ll highlight three categories of developmental delays in children with ASD.
Some children with ASD can keep up with their peers socially with little issue. But for others, it doesn’t come so easily. The first type of developmental delay we’d like to discuss today is social delay. As a child without developmental delays grows up, you will see them learn to make friends and empathize with them. They will learn to take turns and to share. But for children with a social developmental delay, these skills might take some extra time to learn.
A social delay is among the most common challenges faced by children with ASD. Our therapists can furnish them with the skills they need to master social interaction.
Now, let’s take a look at another form of developmental delay that frequently coincides with a social delay: communication delay. It’s relatively well-known that many children with ASD will take longer to speak their first words than others. But a communication delay in children can take many different forms. They may, for instance, struggle to accumulate new vocabulary, or to speak more than a couple of words at a time.
It should come as no surprise that this form of developmental delay is strongly correlated with social delays as well. A reduced capacity for self-expression can make it difficult for children with ASD to get along socially.
Most people are familiar with how autism spectrum disorder can impact the development of social skills. But fewer people realize that it can hinder motor development, too. The second kind of developmental delay we would like to focus on is motor delay.
Children with ASD may struggle with the development of fine motor skills, gross motor skills, or both. The former refers to performing subtle movements, such as tying shoelaces or learning to use cutlery. Gross motor skills, on the other hand, involve broader bodily movements. A few examples include traversing stairs or—for older children—riding a bicycle.
If your child exhibits signs of any of the above developmental delays, our experienced therapists can set them up with the tools they need for success.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.