Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of the present study was to assess the intellectual development and other developmental domains in apparently normal preschool children in the east of Menoufia Governorate, Egypt. Background Assessing suspected developmental delays (SDDs) in preschool children is necessary for early intervention and decreasing developmental disabilities, because subtle disabilities, such as language impairment, mild intellectual and learning disabilities, are associated with poor health status. Patients and methods This cross-sectional study included 510 kindergarten children of both sexes chosen from the age group 24–60 months in the east of Menuofia Governorate, Egypt. The mean age of the children was 48.4 ± 10.2 years. The study was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, all children were screened by using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ); those who scored below the cutoff point of the ASQ (which is specific for each age) were considered as having SDD, and were then passed onto the second stage for further evaluation (detailed history taking, clinical examination, and intelligence quotient and genetic counseling). Results Our results showed that the prevalence of SDD in the age group 24–60 months is 2.9%, and that of communication, problem-solving, fine motor, social and personal, and gross motor skills was 2.7, 2.2, 1.7, 0.6, and 0%, respectively. SDD was found to be more common among boys. Significant associations were found between children with SDD and paternal education, as well as consanguinity (P ≤ 0.001 and 0.01, respectively), which may indicate that the risk posed by genetic and environmental factors on child development is high. The most observed problem in children with SDD was a specific language disorder, followed by learning disability. Conclusion Developmental surveillance and screening is an important method of detecting delays in preschool children and the ASQ is the most valid and reliable developmental screening test, and should be used in our community.