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Expert: Parents should be proactive in discussing learning disabilities with doctors

For a child, making eye contact for the first time, taking their first steps and waving goodbye are all developmental milestones.

But for parents who notice that their child isn’t making those milestones, when it is appropriate to discuss learning disabilities with a pediatrician?

Dr. Reena Rastogi, a child neurologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said concerned parents should bring up their anxieties with doctors as soon as possible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six kids between 3 and 17 have one or more developmental delays.

Rastogi said pediatricians will notice various developmental delays during routine checkups, but added sometimes the disabilities won’t make themselves present until a child gets older and is in school.

So parents should keep an eye on their child and be aware if any attention issues develop, Rastogi said, as it could be a sign of Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD.

Attention-based problems could lead to other difficulties down the road as well, Rastogi said.

“If they’re stressed in school, they’re having difficulty learning things or bringing home bad grades,” she said. “[Also watch for] things like headaches, stomach pains or just not feeling well.”

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