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Development Delay in Children

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   7 min     



Developmental delay or ‘Global development Delay’ refers to the significant delay in various growth aspects of a child. When there is a slower rate in developmental milestones than other children of their age, such children are suffering from retardations. 

It is a general case in every infant that when they grow up, they acquire various motor,  cognitive, speaking abilities, responding skills and other developments. They invent themselves according to the appropriate schedules and phases. They follow the general hierarchical order of development.

But sometimes, the developments do not go with the hierarchy and thus, do not take place when expected. As such, the children seem to be lagging behind time. They are slow in building up their responding and action activities. The parents of such children are worried about them and try to teach their children almost all the possible guidelines at early stages of their life, so that their children must not lag.

The developmental delay in children might be for short tenure. But, in some cases that it may last for longer terms, resulting in mental and behavioural retardation of the child. 

Causes of Developmental Delay in Child

Development delay can reveal some signs in children related to moving, communicating, the way of thinking, learning things or behavioural things. 

  • The most common reason for having a GDD or Global Developmental Delay are chromosomal and genetic abnormalities, such as Down’s Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome. 

  • It may appear due to the abnormalities in the structure or the development of the brain or spinal cord, such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida.

  • Being born too early than time or prematurity is also a reason for the delay in infants.

  • Some of the infections may found in the body of infants or children that may cause developmental issues, such as Congenital Rubellanor Meningitis. 

Types and Relating Symptoms of Development Delay in Child

All children act and develop differently. In general, being a parent, you are concerned about their child’s development habits. You always focus on their child’s developing skills and try to make them learn new things, words and movements.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of such delay is essential to keep your child out of the mental retardation and prepare for them the best possible ways to act normally.

Knowing about what category of delays exists in your child is essential. Without understanding the type of such development delay in babies, you cannot be able to improve your child in a better way and at an early stage.  

Few developmental delay types that may be seen in the responding ability of your child are:

1. Language problems and child’s speech: 

Language disorders are the most common type of developmental delay. The receptive language is late in those children who suffer from linguistic and discourse lag.

If your child is lagging with his speaking skills or understanding of the languages, your children might be suffering from these delays. 

Here is how you can spot these while seeking some of the related symptoms: 

  • 3-4 months of age: If your child does not respond to noises, it can be a case of developmental delay. 

  • Four months of age: If the child does not try to imitate sounds by this age, he may be a sufferer for developmental delay speech. 

  • One year of age: If the child does not utter a single word by this age, he is developing slowly.  

  • Two years of age: If the child does not speak more than 10-12 words till this age, he has the developmental delays.   

2. Cognitive delay: 

Though it is hard to determine early cognitive-developmental delay, it can be inferred by: 

  • 1-year-old child:  If the child is still unable to comprehend a thing and does not try to communicate, he might be suffering from cognitive delays. It may also happen that the child fails to use or attempt to understand gestures by this age.  

  • Two years: When the child does not imitate gestures or words and does not try to do either of these, he is a sufferer. It may also happen that he fails to use everyday objects like a spoon, crayon, ball etc. at this age.   

3. Vision delay: 

When the babies are born, they have blurry vision at that stage, but it eventually develops while getting older. Signs to look out for whether your child is dealing with a slow visibility rate or not: 

  • Two months old: if the child does not notice hands or some of the body parts, he is growing with vision delays.  

  • At the age of 3 months: if he fails to notice or follow moving objects, he may incur the delays.  

  • Till six months:  If the child experiences constant tearing by this age or If he still fails to notice or follow near or far moving objects with both eyes, it is a sign of vision development delay.

 4. Social/emotional disapproving: 

Again social or emotional respondings of children to others are very hard to diagnose, as such children are unpredictive for many times. Social or emotional developmental delays are often due to neurodevelopmental disorder. It can also be a sign of autism spectrum disorder and is challenging to diagnose at a very early age. 

The following symptoms are listed for not responding to social or emotional factors: 

  • If the child resists playing with others, you will realize later the fact that he is not social, and that is a sign of developmental delay.  

  • If the child does not express much or have a lack of facial expression, it is a delay.  

  • When you find that your child is performing repetitive actions and developing only specific routines, it also depicts the symptoms.  

5. Natural movements and gross motor skill delay: 

Natural and subtle body movements like holding small things or using a crayon are natural for three months old babies and gross motor skills like jumping, climbing stairs etc. is generally seen in about two-years-old infants. 

If the child is not responding to these activities in an adequate time, then your child might be suffering from this if:  

  • If the child does not grasp or try to grasp objects at the age of 3-4 months. 

  • If he does not roll over in any direction until five months.  

  • If the child does not crawl at all till his one year age.  

  • If he still walks on toes till his second year of the birthday.   

Treatments for developmental delays in child

These developmental disorders are healed automatically in some cases, as some children develop more slowly. But in other cases, there is no specific remedy for this although therapies help in such cases.

Various types of developmental delay-nursing diagnosis tests that can be done to detect the underlying cause of GDD are available. However, it happens at often times that the root-cause is never determined entirely, but at least some of the related factors are known to prevent it worsening.

Being aware of the conditions that are causing the issues can help parents, teachers and doctors to counsel better and guide children who are experiencing these problems.

  • There is no single treatment for GDD, but there are several ways to help in eliminating some of the causes behind these delay of habits.

  • According to the symptoms prevailing in the child, the doctor suggests for the diagnostic tests and advice on treatments for underlying conditions that may exist.

  • For example, if the child is having a hearing loss or visual disabilities, the doctor may suggest him for Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist.

  • If the child is not having behavioural developmental disabilities, behavioural therapy is advisable to such patients.

  • Be vigilant for the factors causing the problems and seek pre-medication.

  • Trust your child and try to maintain a positive environment around if your child suffers from these. 

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Tags:  Mental Health,Mental Wellness,Development Deley, Child health

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