Just a few weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines to help pediatricians identify motor delays. To see the guidelines, follow this link. These guidelines include recommendations for formal developmental screening:
- If, there are concerns with motor development found with the developmental surveillance done at any well child check.
- And, at the 9, 18, 30, and 48 month well child checks.
Within the guidelines, there is an algorithm for pediatricians if there are concerns with motor delay, including referral to pediatric physical and/or occupational therapy, and referring to sub-specialists for further testing. It also provides pediatricians with information on different developmental disorders and how to get reimbursed for additional time spent with developmental examinations.
While these are great recommendations for pediatricians to help them catch early motor delay and begin the process for appropriate treatment, it is important to note that parents with any concerns of motor delay should talk with their pediatrician at any visit. Parents know their child better than anyone else! Motor delays can occur for a myriad of reasons including: premature birth, not enough tummy time, genetic disorders, and unknown causes. The earlier that motor delay is detected and treatment with PT or OT is initiated, the faster the results with fewer problems down the road. Some great resources regarding motor delay and tummy time can be found at www.Pathways.org.
Pediatric physical and occupational therapists can also help answer questions and evaluate children with motor delays. Our therapists are happy to answer questions as well as provide consultation, evaluation, and treatment as needed to children all around the Portland Metro area.
Call us at (503) 494-0385 for more information.
(Blog post courtesy of Crystal Bridges, DPT)