Long Term Effects of Developmental Delay

Updated April 17, 2017

Developmental delays, both physical and mental, can have a devastating effect on both the child and family members. It can cause medical expenses, educational gaps and a need for the child to be cared for during the span of their lifetime. While some developmental delays are not severe, there are some that are so crippling they can significantly shorten the child's lifespan. This can have a crushing effect on the family of the affected child.

Ongoing Medical Expenses

Children with developmental delays can have staggering medical expenses. This can include medication, therapy and other assistance for care and treatments to help the child catch up to where he should be developmentally. It can have a devastating affect on a family long term if they become financially unable to fully provide the means for the child to be able to catch up with their peers.

Educational Gaps

State schools may not have good programs for developmentally delayed children, so some children, in essence, are attending school without a logical purpose. People may treat them more like infants, and they may not be taught any practical skills that will help them thrive in the outside world. This places these children at an extreme disadvantage when they become adults, forcing them to remain with their parents or other family members. For those who are not so fortunate, they must go to a state facility.

Care for the Child

Unfortunately, if the developmental delay is severe enough, the child will have to be constantly cared for. This puts a strain on the family because someone will always have to be with the child to be sure they are being properly looked after. This is true regardless of whether the family is able to afford specialised care or not.

A Full Life

Needless to say, children who have developmental delays do not live a fully enriched life. They miss out on many of the experiences other children get to have. This not only upsets the child, but also the family members who are powerless to do anything about the situation.

Early Detection

If you detect developmental delay early, it's possible to make appropriate adjustments to deter the effects of the delay. If the delay is detected early enough, the child can be of similar intelligence, and in some cases above the average intelligence of his fellow students. Educators and health professionals need to do proper screening and diagnostics test in order to detect the delay and create adaptations for the child.

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