What Puts a Child at Risk for Developmental Delay?

The risk factors for developmental delays fall into two very broad categories:

Genetic:

  • Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome and other disorders put a child at risk for developmental delays. 

Environmental:

  • Exposure to harmful agents or after birth, such as lead
  • Infections
  • Prematurity
  • Severe poverty
  • Poor nutrition
  • Lack of care

Risk factors have a cumulative impact upon development. As the number of risk factors increases, a child is put at greater risk for developmental delay.

Find Support

Connect with other parents of children with Developmental Delay

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to parents, caregivers, and professionals about their experiences with Developmental Delay.

Resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics
www.aap.org

Developmental Delay Resources (DDR)
www.devdelay.org/

First Signs 
www.firstsigns.org

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Learn the Signs. Act Early (with checklists for Developmental Milestones)

www.cdc.gov/

National Center of Medical Home Initiatives for Children with Special Needs
www.medicalhomeinfo.org/

Zero to Three 
www.zerotothree.org