As the child grows and develops, they begin to hit certain developmental milestones like walking, talking and crawling. Although every child grows at a different pace and goes through certain developmental milestones approximately around the same time. A child can be said to have a developmental delay when he/she has not developed or gained one or more developmental skills expected of him or her as compared to other children of the same age.
If your child is just a month or maybe two behind showing certain developmental milestones, then it is worth noting. However, if he/she is multiple months behind in development of one or more basic skills, you should talk to your child’s paediatrician about the possibility of a developmental delay that may require intervention.
Factors that may delay the child’s development
There are many factors and causes responsible for developmental delays in a child which can occur before and after the child is born and even during the birth process. The factors could include:
- Genetic conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Exposure to certain toxic substances like prenatal alcohol exposure or lead poisoning
- Severe psychosocial traumas
- Serious infections and deprivations from healthy food or even the environment.
In some cases, it may not be possible for the parent to find the cause of the developmental delay or to recognize it. The suggestion for Parents is to look for “red flags”. In clinical terms, there are a few “absolute indicators,” often referred to as “red flags,” that identify the behavioural or developmental markers suggesting the need for further evaluation. These “red flags” help in prompting for appropriate screening and serve as a catalyst to ensure that the child is on the right developmental path.
Developmental Red Flags (1 to 3 months)
Developmental Red Flags (4 to 7 months)
Developmental Red Flags (8 to 12 months)
Developmental Red Flags (12 to 24 months)
It is important to seek early interventions if your child develops any of these red flag developmental behaviors. Early intervention helps many children to get back on track and fix their development delays. It has been seen that many developmental delays can be overcome with appropriate intervention.
Physical therapy can help a child who is struggling with balance and coordination. Speech therapy can be beneficial for the child for his/her language development and articulation skills. Some of the developmental delays can be long-term and more troubling, especially if they are caused due to genetic conditions, and cognitive or social disabilities such as Down syndrome or autism. Even in those cases, early intervention can still be extremely beneficial for children for helping them reach their full potential.