ZocdocAnswersWhen should a child have a mental development evaluation?

Question

When should a child have a mental development evaluation?

My child still has trouble speaking at the age of 3. Is it time for a mental development evaluation?

Answer

Before we get into the specifics, a little more information would be helpful to ascertain what is going on with your child. Did you child have any issues at birth, including prematurity? Does your child have any medical problems? Are there any family members that have a history of developmental delay or other medical problems that may have been passed down? These are important questions to consider and discuss with your child's pediatrician. He or she will best be ale to evaluate your child's medical history, presenting symptoms, and clinical exam and decide upon the appropriate work up. This may include lab tests or imaging studies and perhaps even a referral to a specialist if deemed medically appropriate. In terms of developmental milestones, it is important to evaluate your child as a whole, and not just one issue related to speech. Your child's pediatrician would be the best person to evaluate whether he or she is meeting all the other milestones or if there is a general overall delay in development. Again, it is difficult to ascertain what is going on with your child over the internet and your medical professional will be more appropriate to do this.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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