Developmental Therapy

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A developmental therapist serves infants and toddlers from birth to age three with developmental delays or disabilities.  As a developmental therapist you will assess children’s development and design learning environments that promote the child’s development.  You will also provide the family with information and support to help their child grow.  Developmental therapists often are part of an Early Intervention team, which may include occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, or social workers. 

Education and Certification Requirements

Credentialing for developmental therapists varies by state.  In Illinois you must have d a bachelor’s degree or higher from an Early Intervention approved college/university program in the areas of:

  • Early Childhood 
  • Early Childhood Special Education 
  • Special Education
  • Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Blind/Partially Sighted 
  • Child Development
  • Early Intervention  
  • Elementary Education

Applicants also must have coursework in the following areas:

  • The Development of Young Children (1 semester hour Typical Development and 1 semester hour Atypical Development)
  • Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities
  • Intervention Strategies for Young Children with Special Needs  
  • Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs

Pay

Currently the Bureau of Labor and Statistics does not list developmental therapy as a specific job category so precise salary data is not available.  ZipRecuiter reports that the national average salary for a developmental therapist is $53,670.  Salary.com lists the median salary as $45,160.

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