Robert Perna and Ashlee R Loughan
Developmental delay is a common diagnosis given in clinical practice to young children whose developmental milestones fail to be met in a typical age-expected manner. Research on early delays in speech and motor milestones remains unclear regarding long-term developmental outcomes. The purpose of this study was to cross-validate and further investigate subsequent diagnoses (more than 4 years post delay diagnosis) and potential neuropsychological weaknesses in children who suffered early developmental delays in speech or motor. Participants (N=95) completed a neuropsychological evaluation. Though similar in age, grade level, and economic status, the children with developmental delays were compared with children without delays. Results revealed that the group of children with developmental delays had significantly lower Full Scale IQ’s and academic achievement scores (Reading and Mathematics). Across other neuropsychological measures, children with delays had lower scores than non-delayed children; however, no measureable impairments (when neuropsychological variables are compared to Full Scale IQ). Chi square showed the delay group to be more likely to subsequently be diagnosed with ADHD.