As a parent, it is natural that you would want to see your baby grow and develop in a natural manner. During the first year of his or her life, a baby goes through many changes. These changes are associated with the development of the baby.
These changes determine the responsiveness, alertness and other characteristics of your baby. It is natural for you to become concerned when your baby shows signs of development delay. However, the good news is that there are several ways to deal with this problem.
About Development Delay
Different babies may have variations in the development stages. While some babies may show fast and quick development, for other babies, the process may be a little slower. When a baby shows signs of very delayed development, it is known as development delay of the baby.
This phenomenon occurs when there is a delay in the growth of baby. There are certain milestones which every baby goes through in their stages of development. When there is development delay, your baby will not show signs of development that will be present in other babies of the same age.
These delays in development can be observed in various areas including communication, physical development, social skills and the progress of cognitive faculties. For some babies these delays can occur because of complications in the birth of the baby or other disabilities that the baby may suffer from. In other babies however, these delays are not due to such reasons mentioned previously and the delays are noticed by parents when their child fails to progress in terms of his abilities.
Recognizing Delay in Development of your baby
The first thing to know about development delay is to how to recognize it in your child. As a parent, you will be the first to know if your baby is showing signs of delay in development. If you have other children, then you may be able to compare your child’s progress with that of your previous children when they were of the same age.
However, you should take care not to do the comparison in a harsh manner. This is because the rate of progress in development may vary from one child to another without necessarily indicating development delay. Also, it is often seen that parents may start expecting a little too much from their children and this may as well lead to a stiff comparison.
Nevertheless, in case you notice that your child seems much less responsive or lacks in showing certain abilities that should have developed, then you can contact your pediatrician. A pediatrician is someone who can correctly identify as to whether there is indeed a case of development delay in your baby by conducting tests and screenings.
Indicators of Delay in Development of Your Child
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Since there is no specific cause of development delay, it can be a little difficult to recognize. However, there are certain sigs of development that each child shows when growing from one phase to another. If your baby shows a failure in responding or developing these abilities, then it can be an indication of development delay.
The following points will help you to determine whether your baby shows signs of delay in development. You will understand if your child has development delay if he or she shows signs on lack of interest in the caregivers or in the surrounds. Other indicators include failure in responding to sounds, smiles, eye contact and failure in using hands to hold and manipulate objects. These signs should be looked for in the 0-2 year phase.
When your child is in the 2-3 years phase, the indicators for delay in development include – lack of interest in other children, little use of words or communication, communication that is repetitive, non recognition of familiar objects and so on. At this age, if your child repeatedly does something without really focusing on it or realizing it, then that can also be a sign of delay in development
The third stage when development delay can be identified is in the 3-5 years age group. At this time, signs of delay in development include talking or babbling that is difficult to understand, lack of interest in interaction with parents or other children, difficulty in walking, running or balancing, no imaginary play and also difficulty in using crayons and other items.
Dealing with Delay in Development
There are many causes of development delay. According to most pediatricians, there is no specific cause of this delay in development. However, it can be related to various causes and show many varied signs. As already mentioned, one cause for this delay can be medical which arises from complications in birth or disabilities in the baby. Another medical cause for delay in progress is known as Down syndrome. This is a genetic factor or can also be due to some illness or any accident that the baby suffers.
If your baby has a problem in the larynx, then it can lead to hearing impairment or speech impairment. This can lead to a delay in the development of the powers of speech and language in your child. Speech impairment can also be caused by difficulties and problems in the throat, oral civility, or the nasal cavity.
Another cause of development delay is problems relating to the central nervous system. This can cause a variety of difficulties in areas such as communication, responsiveness, physical quickness and so on. Generally, all these difficulties can be traced to problems with communication.
When you observe any signs of delay in development, you can contact your pediatrician. There are various kinds of developmental assessment tests that the pediatricians undertake for your baby. These developmental assessment tests are performed to determine the cognitive abilities, speech skills, communication skills and motor skills of your baby.
You also have the option of consulting a pediatrician who specializes in certain aspects of development delay such as a speech pathologist and so on. So, no need to be tensed if you observe any sign of development delay in your child. With the aid of modern science this problem can be easily handled.