Development delay

Development delay

Development delay is a hold-up in a young child in reaching physical and mental milestones, compared to other children of the same age.

This delay may occur in the way a child moves, communicates, thinks, learns or behaves with others.

Symptoms of development delay include:

  • Difficulties speaking

  • Difficulty controlling breathing and speaking

  • Slow language development resulting in a language delay

  • Difficulties combining physical movements into a controlled sequence, learning basic movement patterns and/or remembering the next movement in a sequence

  • Difficulties establishing the correct pencil grip and age-appropriate speed of writing

  • Poor balance

  • Poor spatial awareness

  • Trouble picking up and holding onto simple objects

  • Difficulty with body awareness

  • Difficulties achieving and maintaining continence

  • Bed-wetting.

Children with development delay require more time and effort to learn a new skill, have uncoordinated body movements, inadequate body control skills, fail to respond quickly to their surroundings and have poor understanding of social interaction. 

Risk factors for developmental delay include complications at birth, lead poisoning, poor nutrition, exposure to drugs and alcohol before birth, trauma, vision problems, illnesses and chronic ear infections.

Early detection and intervention is vital. Occupational therapy and speech therapy can help your child achieve much-anticipated milestones, alongside patient and positive parenting strategies.