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special needs > developmental delays
Developmental Delays product guide

Developmental Delays

Children who are significantly behind their peers in reaching developmental milestones are said to have a developmental delay. Children with developmental delays may have difficulty with physical activities, or they may need extra assistance developing language, cognitive and social skills. Developmental delays can have many different causes, including a wide variety of learning disabilities and conditions such as Down syndrome or central auditory processing disorder (CAPD).

Below you will find suggested materials that can help support children with developmental delays and encourage the development of key skills.

Let’s Talk Conversation Starters

Building Social Skills

Provide activities and materials that encourage children to use language to describe their own feelings, and teach them to recognize feelings and emotions in others. Talk to children about the ideas of friendship and compassion, and encourage children to practice nonverbal skills, such as making eye contact. Whenever possible, provide opportunities for children to interact with their peers.

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Let’s Get Moving Activity Mats

Building Gross and Fine Motor Skills

Many children with developmental delays benefit from daily physical activities that accelerate muscle development. Provide activities such as running and jumping that build gross motor skills, as well as activities that target the fine motor skills needed for writing, such as coloring, lacing and grasping activities.

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Building Language Photo Library

Building Cognitive and Language Skills

When presenting new ideas and information to children with developmental delays, use tools and materials that give visual reinforcement, including pictures and objects. Provide materials that help children identify and isolate individual sounds in words—such as beginning, ending and rhyming sounds—which will help lay the foundation for reading and writing. Read to children often from books that include simple, repetitive text, as well as real-world vocabulary they will encounter in daily life.

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Daily Schedule Chart

Building Life Skills

Teach children the life skills necessary for daily living and self-care, including healthy eating, hygiene habits, dressing skills and safety. It can be helpful for children with developmental delays to be given a set routine they can follow each day. Use tools that provide a visual schedule to help children stay on task and develop a sense of accomplishment as tasks are completed. Materials that provide practice with listening and following directions will also help children be successful in everyday life situations.

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special needs > developmental delays
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