For the next couple days, I’m going to focus on the conditions Daniel has that put him in the special needs category. The first one will be “developmental delays”.
What this actually means: His development is behind what experts mostly agree are accepted milestones for development. In Daniel’s case, for example, he did not roll over until a certain point, did not sit up until 20 months old, was not crawling until around that time, and did not walk until he was 2 1/2 years old. We thought these were probably due to his prematurity (29.5 weeks gestation at birth) but genetic tests done 5 years ago are suggesting that they might be from the same genetic microdeletions that they think caused his autism.
How we treat it: Kiddo has been in physical therapy on and off since he was 13 months old, occupational therapy on and off since he was 16-17 months old, speech therapy since age 2.
How you can help out friends with kids in the same situation: Please refrain from making comments like, “[kid’s name] isn’t doing [insert milestone] yet?!?!? MY child did [insert milestone] at [insert insanely early age].” Believe me, we’re aware of how far behind our kid is and that comment is really rude.