A child may be given a diagnosis of developmental delay if they achieve certain developmental skills later than the predicted age. These skills are called ‘developmental milestones’. Development delay may affect a child's speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, and/or personal and social skills. A child diagnosed with a global delay will have delays in all areas of their development.
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 for each milestone, there is a range of ages during which a child will normally meet it. 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. These milestones were described in the late 19 th and early 20 th century! Cultural and social changes have implications on when a child achieves different skills. A preference for using pushchairs instead of prams, and not putting babies on their tummies, all change the way children develop.
Your health visitor will very often pick up any delays in your child’s development during the developmental checks. Ask them if you have concerns.
Some signs that your infant may not be meeting his normal gross motor milestones include not being able to:
- bring his hands together by 4 months,
- not rolling over by 6 months,
- having head lag when pulled to a sitting position after 6 months,
- not sitting by himself without support by 8 months,
- not crawling by 12 months,
- not walking by 18 months.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s development, contact KidsPhysio for an assessment. We will be able to give you some activities to help your child develop skills.
Don’t forget, using a ‘babywalker’ will not help your child walk and will probably delay their walking!