Delayed Development of Problem-Solving Skills

If a young child’s problem-solving skills are delayed, it can often be a sign that other delays may be present. These could include language, motor, intellectual delays, or autistic-like symptoms. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, contact your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. The pediatrician or other professional may refer your child for evaluation and services. Your child may receive evaluation or services through the local early intervention center through the local Regional Center in California. if under three, or the local school district if over three. You can also request an evaluation from the Regional Center, local early intervention program or local school district at any time. Trust your instincts and seek further evaluation if you have any concerns regarding your child’s development.

If you decide to have your child’s development assessed, typically a psychologist or developmental pediatrician will evaluate all areas of development, including fine and gross motor, language, social, intellectual, and self-help skills. If your child is attending a school program, an educator may provide additional insights about your child’s strengths and challenges. This will help you target specific areas of delay in problem solving, so that you can support your child to strengthen these skills.

Guidelines for Intervention

Follow your child’s lead. Observe what your child naturally does and you will see many opportunities to foster his problem-solving skills. Remember to give your child time to discover solutions at his or her own pace. Offer encouraging words when your child comes up with a successful solution to a problem.

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Getting Started: Choosing Child Care and Preschool

Problem Solving » Links & Resources

Greenspan, S.I., with Breslau Lewis, N. (1999). Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences that Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.