Development Disorders Development Delay

Development Delay

What is Development Delay?

Developmental Paediatrics (Child Development) is concerned with the way children mature, from birth until adulthood. It includes gross and fine motor skills, hearing, communication, vision, fine movements, social behaviour, learning and play. Paediatric Physiotherapists are most concerned with gross motor skills but consider the whole development of a child when assessing and treating.

A child may be given a diagnosis of developmental delay if they are late in meeting developmental milestones i.e. they achieve certain developmental skills later than the predicted age.

What are the signs of Development Delay?

Often parents have concerns about their children's development when they see other children of a similar age reaching milestones before their child. Pressure at mother-baby groups can enhance these concerns. It is important to keep in mind that there is a range of ages that a child will achieve each milestone, For example, some children may walk as early as 11 months while others may not walk until they are 16 months old; both are within normal limits.

Examples of developmental milestones:

1 month Turns head to one side when on tummy
2 months Holds head up for short periods
3 months Kicks legs vigorously, either alternately or together
4 months Rolls from back to side
5 months Lifts legs up whilst lying on back, and plays with feet
6 months Sits with minimal support
7 months Sits without support
8 months Starting to get into crawling position
9 months Will bear weight well through legs in standing
10 months Crawls
11 months Stands with support
12 months Pulls to stand at furniture and walk sideways holding onto furniture

How can KidsPhysio help my child with development delay?

Whilst Physiotherapists are primarily concerned with the development of body postures and large movements (gross motor skills), they need a thorough understanding of the way children develop all their skills in order to assess or treat a baby or child with suspected developmental problems. The Physiotherapists at KidsPhysio have a wealth of experience working with children so understand normal and abnormal child development.

If there are concerns regarding a baby’s, toddlers or child’s gross motor development, physiotherapy should ideally start as early as possible. Unfortunately, NHS paediatric physiotherapy waiting lists in some regions are very long, and children can wait until they are almost one year old before they can access physiotherapy. Kids Physio can offer early appointments, to provide advice and/or treatment whilst you wait for your child to be seen by the NHS therapist.

Your Physiotherapist will:

  • Assess your child to establish the nature of their difficulties:
    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle or joint tightness
    • Changes in muscle tone
    • Specific movements they find difficult
    • Positions they find difficult to tolerate
    • How they move
  • Provide you with ideas of how you can help your child’s development, through positioning and play where possible.
  • Work with you and your child to help them maximise their potential.