Is your child striking the developmental mine at the right moment?
Arey, yeh ab tak chalta nahi? (is your child not walking yet?)
Isne bolna shuru nahi kia? (he/she hasn’t started speaking?)
Simple remarks by family, friends or maybe strangers, though insensitive can be a cause for concern for development. Children take their own time to reach the milestones. Minor or temporary delays are generally not a cause for concern. Ongoing and multiple delays can be the beginning of some serious health problems that can affect their life. The development starts from the time of birth and it is primarily divided into five areas.
- Cognitive skills
Ability to think and learn.
If you feel that your child has a cognitive (vision) delay, check for these signs
- 2 months- Does not notice hands
- 3 months- Does not follow moving objects with his or her eyes
- 6 months- Experiences constant tearing or eye drainage
- 6 months- Does not follow near objects at least 1 foot away or far objects at least 6 feet away with both eyes.
- Social and emotional skills
Ability to relate to other
In babies, it simply means smiling and making sounds to express themselves and in toddlers, it means to show and express feelings.
- Speech and language skills
Ability to use and understand the language
If you feel that your child has a language delay, check for these signs.
- 3-4 months- Does not babble or respond to loud noises by 3 to 4 months
- 4 months- Does not attempt to imitate sounds
- 7 months- Does not respond to sounds at all
- 1 year- Does not use any single words
- 2 years- Cannot speak at least 15 words, can only imitate speech, or does not use speech to communicate.
- Motor skills
Ability to use small (fine motor) and large (gross motor) muscles
If you feel that your child has a motor skills delay, check for these signs:
- 3 or 4 months old- Does not reach for, grasp, or hold objects
- 5 months- Does not roll over in either direction
- 6 months- Cannot sit up without help
- 7 months- Does not actively reach for objects
- 1 year- Does not crawl or cannot stand while being supported
- 18 months- Cannot walk or push a wheeled toy
- 2 years- Still walks on toes
- Activities of daily living
The ability to everyday tasks like dressing themselves, bathing and eating.
Do you suspect your child is developmentally delayed?
It is important to keep in mind that children develop at different rates. However, if you think that your child is developmentally delayed, talk to your pediatrician. If your child is school going and is diagnosed with developmental delay, you can start early interventions depending upon the diagnosis that will help your child. Treatments for developmental delays vary according to the specified delay. Treatments include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral and educational therapy.
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