Knowing the cause of your child's developmental delays can facilitate a family's access to critical early childhood intervention services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy (OT) and/or physical therapy (PT). Early intervention may help program staff identify areas of specific need or risk. For example, some SMS families have benefited from using sign language with their child before his or her speech developed. Additionally, a diagnosis of SMS opens the doors to a network of information and support from professionals and other families dealing with the syndrome.
By law, U.S. public school districts that receive federal funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must provide early intervention programs for children under the age of 3.
"The Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C of IDEA) is a federal grant program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities, ages birth through age 2 years, and their families. In order for a state to participate in the program it must assure that early intervention will be available to every eligible child and its family."
Check with your public school district to see what programs are available in your area.
Your physician can help you determine the need for therapy or you can have your child evaluated by a therapeutic service provider. For most school-aged children, therapy services will be provided by your school district if included in your child's Individual Education Plan (IEP). Services may be provided as direct or consultation services, depending on school policy. It is important to note that schools will provide therapies only if your child's delays are seen as " affects their ability to learn." For some delays, private services are the only answer.
Speech and language therapy
Onset of speech is often delayed in children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome and articulation can be affected by muscle tone issues. Once speech has been acquired children often experience difficulties with processing information. A licensed speech/language pathologist can address all speech/language related issues. Please see our speech and language page for more information.
Children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome often have visual-spatial deficits and difficulty with fine muscle control, such as picking up small objects. Occupational therapy primarily addresses fine motor skill development in children with SMS, but is also your source for help with feeding issues and sensitivity to textures.
Occupational therapy should be provided by a licensed Occupational Therapist. You can obtain more information about Occupational therapy by visiting the website of the American Occupational Therapy Association
Children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome can have balance problems and weak muscle tone. Physical therapy will address gross motor skill development in children with SMS.
Physical therapy should be provided by a licensed Physical Therapist. You can obtain more information about Physical therapy by visiting the website of the American Physical Therapy Association.