Developmental Therapy

Questions about Developmental Therapy? Read our FAQs.

A Developmentalist (DV) has a background in child development, psychology, education, special education, plus experience with children under 3 years of age, and often a master’s degree in Early Intervention. The DV works with families to help children achieve skills in a typical developmental order. They are able to assist children in the areas of physical skills, cognitive development, communication, social/emotional skills, and adaptive skills. The DV helps families learn to manage challenging behaviors and provides developmentally appropriate suggestions for rules and routines.

Frequently Asked Questions about Developmental Therapy for Children

1Does my child have Autism?
We as Developmentalists, or any EI therapists are not qualified to diagnose Autism. We can tell you about the diagnosis and some of the skills that we look for children to have at certain ages. In order for a child to receive an ASD diagnosis, they must show deficits in communication skills, social interaction with others (peers and/or adults) and demonstrate some repetitive or rigid behaviors throughout their daily routines. If parents demonstrate concerns in two or three of these areas, we will refer for a further evaluation.
2How do I get my child to stop biting?
Biting, like many challenging behaviors are a form of communication. When we hear a child is biting, the first step is to find out what the child is trying to communicate. We then hope to find a more functional and appropriate method of communicating what they need without using their teeth. Because Toddler's still rely on emotional responses before logic, we often have to calm them down and communicate their emotions for them. Whether frustrated, angry, upset, or hungry, we aim to give the child the words or gestures to communicate their needs in another way.
3How many words should my child be saying?
Many families worry because their child is not saying enough words. That being said, the number of words a child says varies based on large number of variables. We often give families a general number, but remind them that words often are delayed if children are focused on movement, or getting healthy. Also, children progress at different rates and no two children learn the same so we have to allow some flexibility in terms of language development. Developmentalists are usually provided if children are not using some words consistently by the age of 18 months in respect to people, things and greetings repeated daily in routines (hi, bye, mama, dada, dog, milk, etc).
4How do I get my child to share with other children at the playground?
Sharing is a difficult task to learn and is not developmentally appropriate until a child is closer to 2 and a half or 3 years of age. Until then, it is not uncommon for children to play beside one another, grab toys, ask adults to get them a toy from a peer, or just sit and watch until a toy becomes available. The best way to help children with this process is to model appropriate phrases for turn taking such as "Can I have a turn?" or "How long until its my turn?" and offer praise when they share a toy with someone else. Sharing is skill that comes with time and exposure.
5At what age should I potty train my child?
Potty training is a challenging time for families. It is important to look for signs that your child is ready to potty train before beginning. For instance, does your child stay dry in his or her diaper for extended periods of time even while drinking throughout the day? Does your child let you know when they have gone in their diaper? Are they showing interest in the potty and other people using the potty? Until these skills emerge, a child is not prepared to enter into the world of potty training. Once you begin, however, stay routine and be positive. Praise your child for any progress made toward using the potty independently and never use punishments for accidents or missteps. Keep potty training positive!