Does Your Preschooler Have an Uneven Pattern of Can Do's and Can't Do's
Often it is the parents who first have concerns when their toddlers are not “on-target” in their development. Sometimes areas of delayed development are first detected in the doctor’s office. It often takes longer to notice uneven development patterns than to notice overall delayed development.
Warning signs are just that…warnings. They don’t necessarily mean there are problems, but they should be discussed with your pediatrician or family physician at your next visit. If your toddler is developing normally, your doctor will be able to reassure you.
Early intervention with a child who is behind in social, cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, and/or language development can make a world of difference. If you see some of these signs in your child, you may want to contact your school district, physician or the local, state or national LDA office for information. They can guide you on where to start in determining whether your child has some delays in areas of development.
The following are some signs and frequent comments used to describe preschoolers who may need assessment: It is the number and severity of the characteristics that should drive your decision.
He knocks over blocks, bumps into doors, falls out of his chair, crashes into playmates and catapults through space.
- Poor estimation of space
- Poor coordination
Her big eyes look up at me and she listens, but I don’t seem to get through.
- Problems understanding what is said
- Difficulty remembering what she hears
- Problems remembering sequences of sounds
- Doesn’t enjoy being read to
- Difficulty following simple directions
He understands what I say to him but doesn’t express himself well.
- Delayed speech and language
- Sounds and words out of sequence (aminals, pasghetti)
- Poor vocabulary
He overreacts or underreacts to everything. It’s as though the emotional thermostat isn’t working.
- Indiscriminate or overreactions
- Loss of emotional control
- Laughter one moment, then crying the next moment
- Under or overreaction to touch
She can talk about topiary trees, but she can’t pull up a zipper or draw a circle.
- Difficulty using hands to manipulate toys, buttons, etc.
- Difficulty with or avoidance of puzzles and blocks
- Clumsiness, knocking over milk, juice
His vision is good, yet he doesn’t seem to perceive things well.
- Difficulty remembering what he sees
- Difficulty remembering orders and sequences
- Difficulty matching shapes
He never seems to be ‘put together’ right yet I spend so much more time and energy helping him than the other children.
- Difficulty with organization
- Disorganized movement