Children's Developmental

Helping Kids Reach Their Full Potential

Every child develops at his or her own pace, making it difficult to catch developmental delays. The developmental pediatricians at Sanford Health work to detect delays early to help your child reach their maximum potential. We’re here to help your child grow.

Early intervention is critical in tackling developmental delays. Our experts will test, diagnose and treat your child as early as possible. Finding the cause of the delay is a vital part of your child's treatment plan. The earlier we classify the developmental disorder or cause, the faster we can identify a treatment plan to promote your child's development. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15% of children have one or more developmental disabilities. See the CDC’s recommended pediatric development chart to see if your child is meeting the recommended milestones for his or her age.

For physicians: Refer a patient to Sanford Health.



Autism is a complex disorder that affects your child’s behavior, social development and communication skills. Pediatricians can spot early signs of autism by the time the child is 14 months old. A definitive diagnosis can be made by age 3.

Signs of autism in toddlers include:

  • Ignoring their name when it’s called
  • Averting their gaze to avoid eye contact
  • Seeming uninterested in other kids
  • Struggling alone instead of asking for help
  • Not communicating (through sounds, gestures, etc.) as much as other toddlers

Early interventional therapies can help a child function better as a toddler and as an adult. See a pediatrician to get a diagnosis and treatment plan for your child. We’ll work with you to decide what would work best with your child’s needs and strengths.

Learn about raising a child with autism.



Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is hard to diagnose. All children will occasionally display impulsive behaviors and have trouble paying attention. The difference with ADHD is that these symptoms are long-lasting. A child must exhibit symptoms of ADHD for at least six months and be over 7 years old to get a diagnosis from a pediatrician.

Watch for these symptoms:

  • Acting without thought
  • Easily frustrated
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Issues with focusing
  • Mood swings

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a type of ADHD, but children with ADD don’t display all of the ADHD symptoms. They aren’t hyperactive and don’t fidget as much as children with ADHD. The two disorders are very closely connected.

Left untreated, children with ADD or ADHD can struggle in school and blame themselves for behaviors or failures caused by their disorder. There are several therapies proven to help children with ADHD cope. Children can join ADHD support groups, undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, learn about anger management, get counseling and more. In most cases, prescription medication alone can help children manage their ADHD symptoms.

Learn more about ADHD.


Other Conditions

If your child has developmental delays, Sanford Health pediatricians will first look for the cause. Once your pediatrician identifies the developmental disorder or external origin, interventional treatment can start right away.

In addition to autism and ADHD, we commonly treat:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Learning disabilities
  • Pediatric developmental delays with no apparent cause
  • Other associated disorders

The first step in your child’s treatment is to make an appointment. Call your regular pediatrician or find a specialist near you.

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