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.

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