As a parent or caregiver, you may be concerned if you notice that your child seems to be lagging behind the other children. During “mommy and me” classes, you may notice that your child sits in one place and isn’t moving around like the other children their age.
Perhaps your child is not yet walking while other children the same age are already attempting to run. If you are concerned about your child’s development in relation to what children of the same age are doing, it may be worthwhile to make a visit to a pediatric therapist.
A developmental delay is when a child has delays in gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language skills, cognition, or any combination of these. Children are expected to reach certain motor milestones by specific ages. Some children achieve skills quickly while other children take more time to achieve these skills.
It is important to recognize that motor development is a continuous process and that many of these skills are achieved within a range and not necessarily at a discrete age. The following offers some key developmental milestones in relation to age in months during the first year of life:
To encourage your child’s healthy development from birth to six months of age, our expert team of physical, occupational and speech therapists offer some helpful strategies:
If you suspect that your child may have some developmental delays, the first step would be to discuss this with your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may refer you to a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neurologist to further evaluate the concerns you have regarding your child. Your doctor may then refer your child to therapy to address the delays and assist your child with achieving his or her motor milestones.
Pediatric therapists work with the child and their family to help build needed skills. They have extensive knowledge on typical development and therefore, are experts in assessing babies and young children who may have some delays. There are three types of pediatric therapists: