Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Child is 14 months and is not yet walking, why? :Part 2

As discussed in the last post, a Developmental delay is when your child does not reach his or her developmental milestones at the expected time. Developmental delays might happen just in the short term or it might be long term or permanent.

Short-lived delays usually aren't a cause for concern. Kids catch up on their own but a developmental delay is more than just being “slower to develop” or “a little behind.” It means your child is continually behind doing things other kids his age can.
For example, a baby who isn’t rolling over by 4 months may be just a little behind but if he also isn’t able to hold his head up and push up when lying on his tummy, he’s a lot behind. That’s a sign of a developmental delay in motor skills.

Developmental delay can show up in the way a child moves, communicates, thinks and learns, or behaves with others.
Major Causes of developmental delay
There is no one cause of developmental delays however, the following are main causes especially in Nigeria.

  1.   Genetic conditions such as hydrocephalus, Down syndrome or a cleft palate cause delays. 
  2.   Complications at birth: Being born prematurely, low birth weight or the baby not getting enough oxygen at birth [birth asphyxia] which could happen especially if the delivery was difficult, prolonged or if the mother has a serious infection, high or low blood pressure.
  3. Jaundice: At this point, it would be important to note that bathing a baby with pawpaw water or over exposure to the sun does not cure Jaundice.
  4. Hospital negligence [at birth]: This could also cause problems for the baby.  This is very important because of the rise in the number of hospitals and clinics cropping up all over the country on a regular basis. Starting from the moment, a pregnancy has been confirmed, Parents should really research on most competent hospitals (especially private clinics) to do Antenatal and have their babies and also for the best pediatric hospitals for their young ones. One of the best ways to do this would be to ask other parents and friends.
  5. Environmental issues and other medical conditions: Poor nutrition, poverty, Lead poisoning, being exposed to alcohol or drugs before birth. Chronic ear infections, for example, which can cause delays in speech and language development.

The first three years of a child's life are an amazing time of development and what happens during those years stays with a child for a lifetime. That's why it's so important to watch for signs of delays in development and to get help if you suspect problems. The sooner a delayed child gets early intervention, the better their progress will be. So, if you have concerns, act early.

Support and treatment of children with developmental delay.
The following professionals might be able to help if you think your child might have developmental delay, or your child has a developmental delay diagnosis:
    •    GP 
    •    Occupational therapist 
    •    paediatrician 
    •    audiologist 
    •    occupational therapist 
    •    physiotherapist 
    •    psychologist 
    •    social worker 
    •    special education teachers 
    •    speech pathologist.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Child is 14 months and is not yet walking, why?

So you have been wondering why your neighbour's baby who is the same age as yours, is walking and yours isn't. Well, no two children are the same; the fact that Baby A is standing or walking and yours isn't, doesn't mean there is a problem with your child. Baby might just be taking his or her time.

However, you as a parent should know the milestones so you can know when there is actually a problem.

The first five years create the foundation for the child to accomplish key developmental milestone advances in mind and body. It is during these years that the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth in gross, fine motor, language skills, thinking and social interactions.

So how can you tell the difference between a child who is just taking his or her time and one who has a true developmental delay?

According to Marat Zeltsman DO of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, a developmental delay is when a child does not reach a milestone by the upper range of normal.

Even though babies develop at their own pace, he explains, "Every child should do certain tasks by a certain age."

These tasks fall into five main categories:
Gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking
Fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks or coloring
Language skills, including speech and comprehension
Thinking skills
Social interaction

Using input from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, WebMD compiled a rough timeline of milestones in the above areas. Remember, a child can stray from this timeline and still be within the range of normal, but it's best to discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.

Timeline of Childhood Milestones

2 Months
Smiles at the sound of your voice and follows you with their eyes as you move around a room

3 Months 
Raises head and chest when lying on stomach

Grasps objects

Smiles at other people

4 Months 
Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds
holds head steady

6 Months 
Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back

Moves objects from hand to hand

7 Months 
Responds to own name

Finds partially hidden objects

9 Months 
Sits without support, crawls, babbles "mama" and "dada"

12 Months
Walks with or without support

Says at least one word
Enjoys imitating people

18 Months 
Walks independently
drinks from a cup
says at least 15 words
points to body parts


2 Years 
Runs and jumps

Speaks in two-word sentences

Follows simple instructions

Begins make-believe play

3 Years 
Climbs well

Speaks in multiword sentences

Sorts objects by shape and color

4 Years 
Gets along with people outside the family

Draws circles and squares

Rides a tricycle

5 Years 
Tells name and address

Jumps, hops, and skips

Gets dressed

Counts 10 or more objects

In my next post I will be talking about conditions that may cause a child to develop slower that others.

Image courtesy: