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If you have concerns, please discuss with your child’s pediatrician and ask to be referred to our team for an occupational therapy evaluation.

Learn the Signs of Cognitive Developmental Delays in Your Child

May 4, 2021

Cognitive delays may affect a child’s intellectual functioning, interfering with awareness and causing learning difficulties that often become apparent after a child begins school. Children with cognitive delays may also have difficulty communicating and playing with others.

Many delays aren’t serious, and most kids can catch up, especially when they get early treatment. The key is to get your child the help they need as soon as you think there’s a problem. If you wonder whether your little one is falling behind in cognitive growth, don’t wait to find out. Talk to their pediatrician right away or reach out to Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare to schedule an evaluation by a leading pediatric specialist.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cognitive delays occur in approximately 12 of every 1,000 children and can range from mild and moderate to severe and profound.

As with most types of developmental delays, early intervention therapy can make a big difference in the progress your child makes. Children with cognitive delays may have problems with memory, attention span, retention of information, learning, following instructions, and imitating actions and words.

“At Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare, we use evidence-based techniques tailored to meet your child’s needs with a child-friendly focus. By providing one-on-one individual care in your child’s natural environment, we assist in establishing a strong foundation for future learning to give your child the ability to reach their best life,” adds Tatiana Windley, speech-language pathologist.

What are the Signs of Cognitive Developmental Delays?

Every child grows and learns at their own pace. It’s helpful to know the signs that your child might not have the skills most other kids have at their age. A comprehensive evaluation by a licensed pediatric occupational therapist is recommended if you have concerns with cognitive delays. An evaluation will give you the information necessary to determine if one-on-one individualized therapy is the best action for your child.

Therapy might not be needed, but a therapist can provide resources and exercises for you to do at home with your child. An evaluation is a good choice if your child exhibits any of the following signs at the age that’s indicated below.

By 1 year, contact your child’s pediatrician if your child does not:

  • Search for objects that are hidden while they watch
  • Use gestures, such as waving
  • Point to objects or pictures

By 2 years, contact your child’s pediatrician if your child does not:

  • Know the function of common objects, such as a hairbrush, telephone, or spoon
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Imitate actions or words

By 3 years, contact your child’s pediatrician if your child does not:

  • Understand simple instructions
  • Join in “pretend” or “make-believe” play
  • Like to play with toys

By 4 years, contact your child’s pediatrician if your child does not:

  • Show interest in interactive games or make-believe
  • Follow three-part commands
  • Understand “same” and “different”

By 5 years, contact your child’s pediatrician if your child does not:

  • Respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Know what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Play a variety of games and activities
  • Give first and last name
  • Draw pictures

Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare is the leading provider of pediatric occupational, physical, speech, behavior and feeding therapy services in the state of Colorado delivered in the home in-person or through a seamless interactive virtual experience.

Our 400+ clinicians have provided therapy to 4,000+ children from birth to 21 years. We have provided over one million visits since 2005. Our mission is to support you and your family in providing professional clinical evaluations, treatment options, resources and information so you feel empowered to make the best decision for your child and family.

How to Refer Your Child

  • Option 1 | I want to refer my child for an Evaluation/Therapy. If you know you would like to speak to our patient advocate to discuss scheduling an initial evaluation with a licensed pediatric therapist, simply complete and submit the Referral Form so we may contact you. Please provide as much information on the secure/encrypted form as possible as it is required to begin the process. We do accept Medicaid and most insurances.
  • Option 2 | I Want to Be Contacted. If you would like to speak with our patient advocate for more information prior to submitting a Referral Form, simply complete the Contact Me Form and submit.
  • Option 3 | If you prefer to contact us to discuss your child, please call our team. You can reach us by phone at: (Denver) 303.432.8487; (Colorado Springs) 719.623.5463; (Northern Colorado) 970.775.8476; and (Pueblo) 719.695.4535.

For additional information, visit us at

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