Many of my clients and patients have developmental delays. In the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), I often get referrals for patients who have been born very prematurely, but have grown up and reached or passed their due date. These patients often are already delayed or are at least at great risk for developmental delays, because the typical course of development that occurs when babies are born near their due dates is altered when they are born early.
I once received a referral for a baby boy who had been born about 3 months early, but was now 5 months old – 2 months past his due date. He had a feeding tube, but didn’t need to be on any respiratory support, and was able to be held. His mother wasn’t able to be at bedside, and the nurses knew that letting him lay alone in his crib day after day would certainly slow his development even further, so they referred him to music therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.