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Signs/Indicators of a Disability

The following are SOME indicators that MAY be a sign of a disability in a child (a full evaluation is necessary):

  • Not reaching developmental milestones at the same time as other children of the same age (see age-appropriate links to the left and above)
  • Not responding to sounds/noises around them or not responding to their name by 6 months to 1 year of age
  • Vision difficulties - by 9 months they should begin to recognize familiar faces - look for ability to focus on objects and not look past objects
  • Speech seems delayed significantly or words are very difficult to understand even at 2-3 years of age
  • Not being able to crawl or walk in a realistic age range
  • Acting out very aggressively and/or having social difficulties with other children
  • Genetic diseases may lead to other disabilities
  • Not responding to being cuddled

Web sites with more information:

Developmental Facts:

  • A baby's brain is a "work in progress."  Most connections are formed after birth as a result of interaction with the baby's environment.
  • Most human brain connections for vision are in place by 8 months.
  • Language development is one of the most important activities for a developing infant.  Babies can recognize their native language and their mother's voice even before birth, and begin absorbing information immediately after birth.
  • Hearing loss is the most common congenital disorder in newborns.
    • The average age at which children are diagnosed with a hearing loss is 2.5 years.
    • Research suggests that children identified with a hearing loss that are given appropriate intervention before 6 months of age have significantly better language skills than children identified after 6 months of age.
    • Infants identified with a hearing loss can begin immediate intervention as early as 4 weeks of age.  Early identification is the key to increasing the chances that language, cognitive, and social development are similar to that of hearing infants.
    • Hearing tests are painless and can be done while a baby is sleeping.  Small microphones placed in the infant's ears by an Audiologist will measure the ear's response to sounds.  The process takes less than five minutes.

Educational Service Unit 5 900 West Court Street Beatrice, NE  68310

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