Developmental Delay

Help young children hit developmental milestones with confidence for a better quality of life.

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Every child’s development is unique. Give them the tools to embrace life at their own pace

Children struggling with developmental delay experience challenges in movement, social interaction, communication, or structured thought. When more than one area is affected, it’s known as global developmental delay. It influences how they behave with other people, how they learn new skills and how they experience life.

Young children usually grow at different speeds. The rate at which your child is displaying language skills or fine motor skills isn’t always an indication of developmental delay. Every child is unique and will learn and grow at their own pace. However, if you have concerns about your child’s development, you might consider seeking additional guidance and support. Book a developmental screening with your child’s doctor to learn more. If diagnosed, there are many options to manage concerns. Early intervention can make a huge difference in overcoming significant delay.

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Early intervention therapies to overcome significant delay

Critical therapy and support to help your child learn new skills and meet developmental milestones.

Occupational therapy
Our therapists support the development of daily living skills such as dressing, feeding, and self-care.

Improve your child’s gross motor skills, strength, and balance to overcome developmental disabilities.

Our team provides assessments, therapy and support to improve your child’s cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills.

Social work
Support and guidance to parents and families of children with developmental delay. This includes help accessing resources and navigating the healthcare system.

Speech pathology
Speech pathology can help a child with developmental delay improve their communication skills and oral development such as eating and drinking skills, saliva management and mealtime challenges.

Dietitians can work with you to optimise your child’s nutrition, including the variety of foods that they eat. Dietitians can support mealtimes and help your child eat a healthy range of foods.

School readiness
Our therapists work closely with you and your child to build the necessary skills for success in a school environment.

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Find a clinic near you

We have clinics in every state and territory providing assessments, early childhood intervention therapies, and support to help you thrive.

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Frequently asked questions

Developmental delays are a significant delay in a child’s ability to reach key developmental milestones (walking, talking, or socialising). That is, compared to what is typical for their age group. However, it’s important to note that children usually grow at their own pace. Not all delays are indicative of a larger problem. If you have concerns about your child’s development, consult your child’s doctor about a developmental screening.

Signs of developmental delays may include:

  • Speech delay or language delay
  • Difficulty with gross motor skills such as crawling or walking
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills such as grasping items or using tools (i.e. a pencil or drumming stick)
  • Challenges with problem-solving or social interactions
  • Lack of interest in playing with toys or other children

This assessment identifies potential developmental delays or concerns in young children. It involves a series of questions and observations about a child’s skills and abilities. The focus is on communication, motor skills, social skills, and cognitive skills.

During a developmental screening, our therapists will ask about your child’s behaviour and abilities. They will also observe the child performing certain tasks. Once we identify any areas where your child is struggling, we can determine if intervention is needed.

Developmental screenings are recommended for all children. But they are especially important for those with higher risk factors. Some of these risk factors are premature birth, low birth weight, or a family history of developmental disabilities.

Examples of developmental delays include:

  • Delayed walking or crawling
  • Difficulty with language and communication skills
  • Delays in cognitive or thinking skills
  • Delays in social and emotional skills

A child with developmental disabilities (long-term delays) will usually grow at a slower pace than other children

Developmental delays can have a variety of causes. Genetic factors, environmental factors, and medical conditions can all play a part. Certain disabilities will also present with delays. Examples are cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

As parents, you can help your child by being patient and providing consistent support. You should also work closely with healthcare professionals to create individualised care plans that address their specific needs. Most early intervention therapies require parents to support treatment at home. At Early Start Australia, we equip parents with the training needed to provide this hands-on care so children can stay on track with therapy goals.

Your child’s therapy journey with ESA

Help your child hit developmental milestones with a dedicated team of multi-disciplinary experts

Our team is equipped to support your child in overcoming developmental delays. With multi-disciplinary care plans, we’ll help them develop the skills they need to succeed. Our goal is to improve their quality of life and strengthen their connection with family and the community.

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The Early Start Australia promise

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Multi-disciplinary approach

Our team of therapists work together to create a personalised care plan for your child using a range of therapy services designed to build new skills.

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Clinics and therapists Australia-wide

With nationwide clinics and passionate allied health professionals, we’re here to provide you with the help you require, precisely when you need it.

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Registered NDIS services

Access our services through your NDIS funding, making it easier for you to get the help you need, without any extra out-of-pocket costs.

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 Personalised, family-centred approach

We are a united team, collaborating with parents to offer comprehensive and tailored therapies. We’ll also equip you with the tools and training to assist in your child’s progress at home..

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