Child Development

Concerned about your child’s development?

You may notice your child is behind in being able to do some of the activities listed on these pages. Taking longer to do new things could mean that a child has a developmental delay or a disability. The sooner you have questions answered about your child, the better it will be for both you and your child.

Children can be behind in learning new skills because of illness, an accident, or one of many other reasons. By knowing what’s holding back your child’s development, you can begin to help your child adapt and keep developing. Don’t wait by thinking that the situation will change on its own. 

If you are concerned:

For children, newborn to age 3:

Ask your child’s doctor or nurse about your concerns or contact your local Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program. ECI is part of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. The program helps families with children who have developmental delays. It supports families to help their children reach their potential. There are local ECI programs all over Texas. Screenings and evaluations are free. The program can help families both in their homes and in their communities. To find a nearby ECI program, call 1-800-628-5115. That’s a free call. Or visit the ECI website.

ECI services for children and families may include:

  • Developmental screenings and tests.
  • Physical, occupational, speech, and language therapy.
  • Supportive childcare teachers.
  • Education and counseling.
  • Coordination of needed social and health services.
  • Access to support groups.

For children ages 3 years and older:

Local school districts can test kids ages 3 and older through the Child Find program. If your child is found to have a delay or disability, the school district can provide help. To learn more, call the special education office in your school district.

Other resources:

The Early Childhood Intervention Directory has more information on local resources for children with developmental delays and disabilities. Call the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Help Line at 1-800-628-5115 and ask for a copy of the directory. Also, the Department of State Health Services Audiovisual Library has books, videotapes, audiotapes, and journals about child development and early intervention. Anyone in Texas can borrow these materials for only the cost of return postage. To find out more about the library and to order library materials online, go to the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services website.

Call PATH of the Partners Resource Network at 1-800-866-4726. That’s a free call. PATH has materials and books about developmental delays and disabilities. The people at PATH can connect you with parents of kids with similar conditions. They can help you get the answers you need about your child. They can also tell you about some useful services and resources.