1. Parents often think a child will "grow out of a problem". This is determined on a case by case basis. If the behavior is severe, frequent or noticed by others in the community or family it should most likely be addressed. Yes, it is true some problems you do grow out of but it is best to seek out a professional in the area of the problem as a precaution to confirm whether or not treatment or assessment is needed.
2. Parents can try exhausting ethical methods they have learned to use in our culture and then turn to the professional once the methods do not have much effect.
3. One thing to consider is that if you wait to long the behaviors may become worse and may not be as easy to eliminate. For example, if a child is head banging to communicate it may accelerate and be more resistant to treatment.
4. Some behaviors such as aggression or self-injury can lead to medical problems if left untreated for a long time. For example, damage to the brain or skull can result from head banging.
5. If early intervention is not done quickly the child may be held back or not allowed to enter the next grade when starting school. For example, many schools require basic skills to move to the next grade such as toiling themselves.
6. Once behavior patterns are formed between the parent and child it is more difficult to break them if you wait a long time. For example, a mother that hugs the child after a tantrum may have trouble changing this habit.
7. Many of the developmental skills such as eating, dressing, toileting and communicating are accomplished before entering the school. If you wait to help your child with these skills you are loosing time in their development and the result is they are developmentally delayed compared to other children.
8. Some parents might consider paying out of pocket for the evaluation if they have the money to do so. The advantage of paying our of pocket is that the child does not get labeled early in life which may stigmatize him later.
9. Finally, parents should consider the long term cost of not seeking professional help. A child with developmental disabilities can cost large amounts of money per year for the rest of their lives.
10. Finally, parents should realize that the time and effort they take now will reduce the effort they will need later. For example, if a child is not toilet trained or eats by himself the parent may be changing diets and feeding the child when he is an adult.
Generally, parents should consider the above items and make the best decision for their individual child that will lead to him/her having a full and meaningful independent lifestyle as possible in the future.