A survey of early detection of developmental disabilities of children three years and younger
Sulham, Larry M.
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The purpose of this study was to determine which developmental problems or delays in infants, if any, were noted by mothers leading them to initially suspect their child may have a disability and for seeking medical attention. Also, to determine if there were any significant delays in time from initial suspicion to the time the child received physical therapy. Finally, to determine if any significant correlations between feeding problems noted by mothers with other noted problems were present. The subjects consisted of 47 mothers of 30 boys and 17 girls from 8 months to 47 months of age with various disabilities, excluding any with a known genetic etiology or diagnosed at birth. Each mother was individually asked questions pertaining to prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal problems which might lead one to suspect a disability and to seek medical attention. Various prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal problems were cited as reasons for initial suspicion and for seeking medical attention. The primary reasons for initially seeking medical attention were the baby being extremely passive and the baby feeling stiff. Numerous feeding problems were cited indicating early recognition of problems by mothers, but few significant correlations with other noted problems were found. There was not a significant delay from initial suspicion to seeking medical attention for the majority of mothers. There were significant delays in time from seeking medical attention and from the time of the diagnosis to the initiation of physical therapy. Suggestions by mothers indicated physicians need to refer physical therapy earlier and physical therapists need to be more organized in treatment and discuss the child's needs, progress, and goals with the physician and parents.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University, 1979