Often parents, due to guidance received, expect the child to reach developmental milestones, even if they have not yet reached them at the most common or “expected” age. Without a doubt, catch ups happen and, as parents, we need to believe and encourage. However, also as parents, we have to be aware that maybe that child needs specific stimuli or modulated by a trained professional to reach the milestone or even to identify reasons for the child not reaching the next steps as expected for most children.
The age for diagnosing a neurodevelopmental delay should be as short as possible. In this way, we enable the child to be properly stimulated. However, it should be noted that the diagnosis of specific disorders may take a little longer, as the context allows. For example, it is common to diagnose speech delays in children with autism and only later reach diagnostic certainty. However, from the beginning the child will be under stimulation with speech therapy and psychology in behavioral training. Thus, even if the child does not have enough symptoms for the diagnosis, there will be no amplified damage. Of course, to the extent that pharmacological treatments prove to be more useful, we should start them early.