When a child fails to achieve certain milestones in his or her cognitive, speech, social or physical ability by a specific age, this is what’s known as a developmental delay. Such delays may be caused by genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, complications connected to the mother’s pregnancy and delivery, effects of lead paint, or other, unknown factors. Early intervention is particularly important and in some cases may allow for the problem to be reversed entirely. Effective treatments include speech, language, physical, behavioral and occupational therapy. Part of every well-child exam involves screening for developmental delays, so bringing your child in for regular doctor’s visits is one way to ensure that any problems are detected and treated promptly.