What is a developmental delay?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Development refers to changes over time, and in children it refers to changes in thought, behavior, and function. With children, we talk about age-appropriate neurodevelopmental milestones in broad areas of language, motor, and social-adaptive development. When an infant, toddler, or young child is not meeting some or all milestones within the window of expected age, we say that they have a developmental delay. This is really a temporary diagnosis or placeholder identifying a child as being at risk for a developmental disability.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Continue Learning about Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders

Developmental Disorders

When a child is born with a developmental disability, sometimes called a birth defect, it means there is a chronic condition that will be a life-long challenge. Down syndrome; autism; and language, learning, vision or hearing prob...

lems are a few developmental disabilities. While these disabilities are typically present at birth, they can begin at any time up to age 22.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.