A developmental delay is diagnosed when a child does not reach the developmental milestone for their age. They can range from minor to something more significant. Most developmental delays are not severe and usually correct themselves over time. And for some, the cause is unknown. Development can refer to motor skills, language skills, and social skills. If your child is not meeting developmental milestones, such as crawling, walking, or talking, they may have a developmental delay. Here are some tips on what to look for if you suspect your child may have a developmental delay.
Speech and language delays are very common in toddlers and children. Do not be concerned if your child is not speaking as much as their older siblings did at their age. Early language development is very unpredictable and happens in spurts. If you suspect that your child has a language delay, here are some signs to be aware of:
- Does not babble or respond to loud noises by 3 to 4 months
- Does not attempt to imitate sounds by 4 months
- Does not respond to sounds at all by 7 months
- Does not use any single words by age 1
There are two main types of motor delays: gross and fine motor delays. Gross motor delay affects the ability to crawl or walk. A fine motor delay impacts your child’s ability to use utensils or hold items properly. If you suspect your child may have a motor delay, consult your pediatrician. They may recommend physical therapy for your child to help build their motor skills. Signs that your child may have a motor delay include:
- Cannot sit up without help by 6 months
- Does not actively reach for objects by 7 months
- Does not crawl or cannot stand while being supported by age 1
Cognitive, or thinking, skills include the ability to think, learn and solve problems. It’s how kids explore the world around them using their five senses. This includes curiosity, learning to count, naming colors, and learning new words. If you notice these issues in your child, they could be a sign of a cognitive delay:
- Not imitating gestures
- Not interested in other people
- Not making eye contact
If you have concerns about your child’s development, share your concerns with your child’s pediatrician.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.