Understanding Developmental Delay in Children


It is always an immense pleasure to see our baby grow and developing. But we also experience anxiety as the child grows. We might be always wondering if the baby is developing normally. We might have a couple of development milestones lists  to check your baby’s development. It is quite natural to have anxiety at the child’s growth because a child gains the ability and self confidence in these early years with which it deals the coming days. It is true that every toddler is different from one another but typically toddler development has few things in common. Before we learn about the normal growth and development of baby, it is quite essential to understand what is ‘normal’.

One of the most common  medical perspective is that baby is normal if he/she is not sick or if he has no signs of any medical illness. There is a mathematical perspective if defining a baby as normal, for instance most babies walk between 9 and 16 months. There is yet another normality scale which is a tough standard. It is called as normality as transactional system.For instance the baby is considered normal if he/she crawls back when you leave the room and feels comforted after seeing  you.

When we talk about growth and development,It is always important to remember that there is a wide range of development and not all toddlers develop a skill in the same way.The challenge is to differentiate individual normal variation from those that are serious.

What is Developmental Delay?

Developmental delay can be identified in the way the child moves, communicates or behaves with other or in general when the child doesn’t do something by the age he/she is supposed to do. It might happen just in the short term or it might be long term or permanent.

What are the causes of Developmental Delay?

Developmental delay is a term used by the doctor until the causes are found out. If the causes are found, they’ll use the name that better explains the condition.

Short term delays can happen in premature babies. Sometimes it can also be due to physical illness and lack of opportunity to learn. Permanent delays can be of serious concern like cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disability, hearing impairment.It is important to understand that brain growth depends on more than just the nutrients the brain recieves. Research says that the actual brain development is influenced by the environment the child is living in.

When should I get in touch with the doctor?

You know your toddler well! If you you have concern about your child’s development , talk to your doctor. Early intervention is the first step for helping a child with developmental delay. If your doctor says baby is okay and if you still continue to have concerns regarding the development of your baby, do not hesitate to get an second opinion from a paediatrician who specialises in developmental issues.

What will the doctors do?

Doctor might need more information about your child to address your concern, Doctor might ask you to fill a questionnaire or ask you questions. Doctor will interact with your child to know more about his/her behaviour. Doctor will also refer your child for evaluation through an early intervention program.

Support groups for families and children

Finding out that your child has developmental delay will raise many questions and concerns. Developmental delay is experienced by many families. As a parent, it is our foremost responsibility to understand what exactly is developmental delay and most importantly what it means for your child. There are support centers to provide you the information to help your child’s inclusion in the family and social life. When we establish a network of support , it’ll enable our child to live a happy life. Most of all, remember that life isn’t a matter of milestones but of moments. Make sure that you gift positive moments for your child.


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