Parenting Tips To Identify Developmental Challenges In Children
- Updated on 29 Nov 2019
- Health and Nutrition
- 4 mins read
Children take their own time to reach developmental milestones. While some children grow at the usual pace, some can be slow. However, parents don’t need to be alarmed when this happens. However, milestone delays beyond a certain period are worrisome and thus should be a taken note of. Here are some parenting tips to recognize whether your child is facing any developmental challenges.
Types of Developmental Delays
When it comes to developmental delays, there can be more than one type. The developmental delays fall into the following categories:
- Language or speech problems
- Vision problems
- Movement—Motor Skills problems
- Social and Emotional Skills problems
- Thinking—Cognitive Skills problems
Before we move on to parenting tips, let’s understand why these developmental challenges happen. There can be many factors that affect the neurobiological system of a child, for example:
- Genetic defects like down syndrome
- Fragile X syndrome, which is a type of cognitive mutation inherited from parents
- Severe medical problems caused due to preterm birth
- Unidentifiable causes
Parenting Tips To Identify Developmental Challenges In Kids
Fine And Gross Motor Skill Delay
Fine motor skills include little actions like playing with a toy or holding a crayon. Gross motor skills include activities like jumping, walking, or throwing a ball.
As mentioned initially, different children exhibit different developmental milestones. Usually, most children should be able to sit with some support by six months and walk by the time they turn two. By the time they turn five, most kids can run, talk, and eat with their hands.
Parenting tips: If your child cannot perform any of these activities in the designated period, he might be facing some developmental challenge. Positive parenting is a must in this case. Do not force your child to do something he cannot do.
The following are some unique signs to watch out for when a child has delays in fine and or gross motor skills:
- Weak or loose limbs and trunks
- Hard arms and legs
- Limited arms and legs movement
- Inability to sit without support after the kid is nine months old
- Failure to stand by the time the kid is one year old
Before you start to panic, please understand that delayed development is perfectly fine. It’s okay for a child to miss certain milestones by some months, and there’s no cause for concern. The concern is only when the milestones are not achieved after the timelines.
Also called ‘Intellectual Disability,’ cognitive delay means when a child cannot communicate and take care of himself due to certain limitations in mental functioning. As a result, the child learns and develops slower than normal children.
Child rearing is hard, and it’s harder when your child has developmental trouble. Children with cognitive challenges take a long time to speak, which is generally referred to as speech and language disorders among children. They also have issues taking care of their personal needs, such as eating, brushing, dressing, or wearing shoes. They are also most likely to have trouble learning in school and at home. In this case, the correct parenting tips is to take your child to a pediatrician the moment you see any of these delays.
Cognitive disability examples include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, aphasia, language delay, and learning disabilities.
It’s also essential that the child is thoroughly examined as cognitive delays can also happen due to brain injury caused by infections like meningitis. As it happens in most cases, it’s not exactly possible to find out the real reason for this type of challenge through parenting itself. Your child’s doctor would be the only eligible person to judge the delay.
Speech And Language Delay
Speech and language delay means a child is not developing speech and language at the right time and milestone. The best way to identify whether or not your child is having speech and language issues is when your child does not talk as much as other children of his age.
Parenting tips for speech and language delay: your child must be able to say simple words like “mama” clearly and understand simple terms like “no” and “stop” by the time he is 1 or 1.5 years old. If you see a delay beyond a certain level, you must show your child to a doctor immediately.
Several reasons can cause speech and language delays, including hearing loss, slow development, inability to understand or communicate, and not being able to spend enough time with adults at home.
While some developmental delays happen before a child is born due to genetics, others can occur after birth due to environmental factors.
There’s no way one can find out the exact cause for these delays. Thus, parents need to keep a close watch on the child’s development milestones by being in regular touch with the doctor.
Parenting Tips to Deal With Developmental Delays in Kids
Many top international schools in India have different learning programs and unique approaches to children with developmental issues. They do not see their developmental challenges as a barrier to their future growth and fulfillment.
There are treatments available for most developmental delays. Your pediatrician may include medications, and in some cases, he may refer your child to a specialist.
The last yet one of the essential parenting tips is not to panic and lose focus. Timely intervention, in the case of developmental challenges in children, can do a lot of wonders. The earlier you diagnose a delay, the better it will be for your child’s growth into a healthy adult. As one of the top international schools in India, we care for your children and wish you all the luck with your child and their growing challenges. They will conquer them all.
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