The Implications of Culture on Developmental Delay

  • Published 2000 in

Abstract

When a child's development appears to lag, many service providers prefer to apply the less specific term "developmental delay," rather than a more specific disability diagnosis, since symptoms of specific disabilities may be unclear in young children. It is possible that a child with a developmental delay who receives services will not develop a disability; whereas if the same child did not receive services, the delay would become a disability. Because it is based on a comparison of the child's functional level with that of other children of the same age, "developmental delay" can be seen as a statistically defined, socially mediated construct that depends on cultural expectations and the definition of what constitutes a delay.

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