Spotting Cognitive Disorders Early in Children - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on May 11, 2015

Spotting Cognitive Disorders Early in Children

Early identification of developmental delays and cognitive, or reasoning, disorders in children can be crucial in setting the child on a successful path for future growth and development. Cognition skills include mental processes such as attention, memory, problem-solving abilities and the development of speech and sounds.

“Delays and disorders that go undiagnosed and untreated may put a child unnecessarily at risk for poor academic, social and long-term vocational progress,” says Amber Hildebrandt, MD. “Early treatment and intervention when there appears to be a lag in development can help reduce the impact of those symptoms.”

Possible Signs of a Developmental Delay or Cognitive Disorder

  • Delayed development in sitting, crawling, standing, walking or talking
  • A lack of curiosity or interest in the world around them
  • Poor frustration tolerance
  • Trouble understanding social rules, such as taking turns or waiting in line
  • Failure to understand and avoid dangerous situations such as touching a hot stove
  • Difficulty learning new skills despite significant practice

Importance of Developmental Screening

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental screenings for every child on a regular basis during regular examinations. During these exams, physicians look for early signs of cognitive disorders, which may be detected in speech sounds, facial expressions, and body language. Physicians can then use a variety of assessment tools and tests, with specific test selection determined by the child’s age and deficiency.

“Parents should discuss any concerns they have with their child’s physician,” says Dr. Hildebrandt. “Every child develops differently, but it’s important to work together with your doctor to ensure your child's development is on track. And if not, that delays are spotted early.”

Dr. Hildebrandt is a Family Medicine physician at Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group in Pewaukee and is currently accepting new patients. Learn more about her or call (262) 785-7700 to schedule an appointment.

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Spotting Cognitive Disorders Early in Children