Developmental Delay is when a child is not growing or developing normally in terms of language, speech, cognitive abilities, social, gross motor and fine motor skills. The delay can be major, minor or an ongoing delay in the process of normal development. The common developmental delays in children include language or speech delays, vision delays, movement (motor skills developmental delays), social and emotional skills developmental delays and cognitive skills delays. To know more about the types of delays in children, see Recognizing Developmental Delays in Children”

If a child doesn’t seem to be progressing or developing compare to other children of the same age, then it could be a potential indication of developmental delay. Therefore, after noticing the delay in development never assume it be a temporary phenomenon unless ruled out by a specialist because your child doctor may use several screening tools during your frequent visits to the clinic. Experienced paediatric neurologist can pick up the delay diligently.

Parents Should Become Attentive

The initial years of child’s life – in fact, the first three years are very crucial for growth and development. Anything that slows down during those years can impact the later years of development; therefore, parents must approach a paediatric neurologist if they suspect problems. To ensure early medical intervention, as a parent, you must keep an eye on the signs of delay in development. The sooner the child get medical intervention, the better their progress will be.

What does a developmental delay mean to parents is not just being slower or sluggishly lagging behind than normal, but it is more than that. Which means the delay is continuous or progressively lagging behind phenomenon when compare to other kids of same age.

Developmental Delay is most often a diagnosis made by a doctor based on strict guidelines. Usually, though, the parent is the first to notice that their child is not progressing at the same rate as other children of the same age.

Risk Factors

Certain conditions like autism, trauma, injuries during birth, Angelman syndrome, Down syndrome, and foetal alcohol spectrum disorders can cause developmental disabilities or developmental delays in some children. In addition, other risk factors may include complicated pregnancy and child birth, premature birth, chronic infections, lack of oxygen at birth, low birth weight, poor nutrition, exposure to smoking, alcohol, lead and other environmental toxins, chronic ear infections, vision problems, etc.

Bottom Line

Parents play an important role in picking up the signs early on.

Though there are several risk factors that can contribute to developmental delays, yet there is no specific cause of delay.

Developmental delays can be an early sign of a learning or attention issue.

Early detection and intervention are important to help your child develop skills.

Intervene Early and Act Fast for a Successful Outcome

If you think that your child is not developing or progressing as compared to other children of the same age or he or she seems to be slow or lagging behind in growth and development – Then, IT IS THE HIGH TIME TO TALK WITH YOUR PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST. The sooner a delayed child gets medical attention and care, the better their progress will be. So, if you have concerns, act FAST.