HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR BABY HAS A PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY
At times parents get worried that their child is not developing at the same rate as their peers. Although such is natural, the child may be experiencing a developmental delay. A developmental delay happens when a child doesn’t reach the milestones they are supposed to at a certain age compared to their peers. It could be in different areas such as motor skills, social skills, cognitive skills, speech, and language skills. Let’s talk about motor skills or physical development.
Normally, your child develops physical skills from head to toe, and it starts with head control, then upper body control, and eventually lower body control. The typical pattern for reaching physical milestones for many kids is rolling over, sitting, crawling, climbing, standing, and walking. Even the small milestones like grabbing objects and holding on to them are physical.
When your child is not achieving those motor skills in the initial months or years of their lives, the delay could be a serious one. Since you know your child best, it is good to share any concerns you have regarding their development with the doctor, especially if you think that something is wrong. Thankfully, healthcare centers such as aba services San Gabriel provide individualized therapy services to kids with developmental delays and disabilities to help them keep up with their peers.
Common concerns about physical development delays
Some common concerns parents report include:
- My baby is frail.
- My baby doesn’t seem to be growing as they should.
- My child gets tired quickly.
- My child’s body is stiff when they move.
- My child doesn’t seem to be keeping up with their peers when they play together.
You should inform your doctor if you have such concerns over your child’s physical development. At times the child may catch up with their peers later in life, but the delays may indicate an underlying medical condition. Identifying the disease and treating it early can ensure the child gets the much-needed intervention early in life. It is also helpful to know the signs of motor skills development delay.
Critical signs of physical development
- Poor head and neck control.
- Delayed rolling over, crawling, sitting, or walking.
- A weak, limp or awkward body posture.
- Speech delay.
- Swallowing difficulties.
- Muscle floppiness and stiffness.
- Muscle spasms.
Some causes of developmental delay in kids
- Genetic conditions such as down syndrome.
- Deprivation of some nutrients and environment.
- A metabolic disorder such as phenylketonuria.
- Exposure to toxic substances such as alcohol and chemicals.
- Shaken baby syndrome or trauma to the brain.
- Severe psychological trauma, e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder.
All these factors can lead to developmental delay in an area of the child’s development, whether physical, cognitive, or behavioral.
Some therapies for physical developmental delays
- Occupational therapy helps babies with physical developmental delays in fine motor skills and sensory processing.
- Physical therapy helps babies with developmental delays in gross motor skills.
- Early childhood special skills stimulate the child to achieve developmental skills.
- Others include nutritional services and family behavioral therapies.
Speak up when you notice your child has any form of developmental delay so that they get early intervention treatment.