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Developmental Disabilities

When brain function is compromised in utero by genetic factors, by toxic substance ingested by the mother during gestation, by disease that affects the growing fetus, by injury to mother and child, or by unknown factors, the learning patterns of normal childhood are changed and slowed down. This affects everything, and is usually apparent early in the child’s life.

Of course, the outcome is variable, from pervasive (affects all development) to mild, where the child’s learning is slowed down but is closer to normal.

The early years are critical, especially when the developmental delay is in the milder range. Enriched responses to specific training in the early years can make a huge difference in outcome.

At the Vancouver Learning Centre only children with mild developmental delay, who can speak and respond to spoken instruction, can be eligible for our service. Aggressive behaviour (harming others or aggressive speech) needs to be under control. If it is determined by telephone consultation that the child could fit into our learning community, a complimentary interview can be set up, which includes parents and child. If at the interview this child is considered a potential VLC learner, an appointment for an assessment and program can be arranged.

To understand what would happen next if the child is under 6 years of age, see Developmental Delays in Young Children (Ages 3-6 years): A Unique Area of Specialty at the Vancouver Learning Centre.

If the learner is school aged (5-18 years) see School –Age Learners (5-18 Years)


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