NSU center offers cheaper tests for children with developmental delays

Identifying developmental delays early is key

DAVIE, Fla. – If you're a parent, you know how important milestones are in your child's development, so what should you do if your little one isn't crawling, playing or talking like they should?

Like most kids his age, 6-year-old Silas Salgado loves a good playground. But when he was younger, Silas didn't seem, interested in anything.

"He wasn't talking at all or babbling -- no words," Rachel Salgado said. "He wouldn't respond to his name."

His pediatrician said Silas might be just a late bloomer, but his parents weren't so sure. They took him to Nova Southeastern University's Mailman Segal Center for Human Development when he was just 18 months old.

It turns out the timing was perfect. Identifying developmental delays early is key.

"We really know, research shows. That it gives the child the best possible chance to learn the skills needed for the best development outcome," Dr. Roseanne Lesack said.

"After the evaluation, we received a 40-page report," Salgado said. "It was very thorough."

The diagnosis was autism, but the report also laid out a plan to get Silas on track.

Amir is undergoing the same kind of assessment. Therapists said the earlier the better when it comes to intervention. NSU is able to offer the pricey testing at a fraction of the cost thanks to a generous grant. After the evaluation, therapists come up with a plan of action.

It didn't happen overnight, but with consistent intervention and therapy, Silas is now playing and learning like any other 6-year-old.

"We're going to have much better outcomes in terms of language acquisition and in terms of identifying behavior concerns and addressing these," Lesack said.

"He's operating above grade level and we couldn't hope for more from him," Salgado said.

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About the Author:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.