Doctors sometimes use the terms developmental delay and developmental disability to mean the same thing. They’re not the same, though.
Kids can outgrow or catch up from developmental delays. Developmental disabilities are lifelong, though people can still make progress and thrive. Conditions that can cause developmental disabilities include Down syndrome,
, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), and brain injuries.
Sometimes it’s hard to determine if a young child has a delay or a disability. That’s one reason doctors may use the words interchangeably. Even when it’s not clear what’s causing the delay,
early intervention often helps
kids catch up.