An almost 5-year-old girl is referred to a developmental-behavioral clinician for developmental evaluation because of language and learning concerns. Her developmental screening in the primary pediatrics office showed scores concerning for delays in communication, social-emotional, gross, and fine motor domains. Her mother has concerns about her language. Her mother's primary language is Spanish, but the patient and her siblings speak primarily English. She speaks in short phrases and sentences with grammatical errors. Her mother understands approximately 75% of what she says, and strangers understand approximately 50%. She uses gestures and facial expression, is social and friendly, demonstrates pretend play, and plays well with her siblings and other children her age. She has occasional meltdowns, but there are no other major behavioral concerns. She feeds herself with utensils and is able to dress herself. She toilet trained recently, at about age 4.5 years.
She did not receive early intervention before age 3 years and had no previous evaluations. She did not attend preschool or child care. Her mother reported that they were referred to the school district twice, but she had trouble requesting the evaluation.
She lives with her parents and 2 brothers. The patient's parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico 7 years ago. They are both farm workers, and extended family members are in Mexico. On reviewing family history, the clinician learns that the patient's mother had trouble learning and attended school until she was 12 years old. She did not receive extra help at school. The child's mother said that she forgets things and “has trouble with reading and writing fast.” The patient's 10-year-old brother has an individualized education plan and is in a substantially separate classroom. He has inclusion activities of recess, art, and music. He receives speech-language therapy and academic support for reading and writing. The patient's mother becomes tearful and shares that Child Protective Services was notified because of her inability to request the school evaluation, but a case was not opened.
Developmental evaluation reveals expressive language at a 33-month-old level and receptive language at a 39-month-old level. Cognitive testing shows extremely low verbal comprehension, borderline visual spatial skills, and fluid reasoning in the low average range. Working memory and processing speed fall in the borderline range. The clinician learns at a follow-up visit that the patient's mother was evaluated by state disability services and has mild intellectual disability.
What is your next step in management? What feedback or resources would you provide to the pediatric clinician and family?