Often, children go through distinct periods of development from birth to young adults. Multiple changes in the development of the brain take place during each of these stages. Genetics determine what occurs and approximately when these developments take place.
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, waving goodbye, talking are categorized as developmental milestones. It is important to note children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act and move. Your child’s growth and development are tracked through a partnership between you and your health professional. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during well-child visits at:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 24 or 30 months
These screenings and monitoring help identify a child as early as possible. Research shows early intervention treatment services greatly improve a child’s development. Early intervention is extremely helpful; however, intervention at any age can be helpful.
Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions that are marked by an impairment in physical, learning, language or behavioral areas. Across the nation and in the state of Ohio, there is a wide range of services and supports available for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Ohio Revised Code (5126.01) provides the following definition” of developmental disability.” ORC 5126.01 primarily guides eligibility assessment and determination in the state:
Developmental disability means a severe, chronic disability that is characterized by a mental or physical impairment or a combination of mental and physical impairments, other than those caused by mental illness. The impairment must be fully formed prior to the age of 22 years old, and likely to continue indefinitely. Special care, treatment or services are individually planned and coordinated for the person. Services and supports range from assistance with daily activities, helping parents aid in their child’s development, and preparation for employment in the community. Ohio’s developmental disabilities system serves an estimated 93,000 Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families.