Developmental delay in children can present in many different ways, including in language, speech, vision, movement, social skills, and cognitive skills. A delay in development refers to a significant lag in the child’s skill when compared to an established “norm”. All children develop at slightly different rates, but certain skills should be achieved by a certain age, including walking and speech.
Physical therapists predominantly work with children who have developmental delays in their motor skills. Infants as early as 4 months can display signs of delay if they are not independently holding their head up, or at 6 months if they are not able to sit without assistance. At the initial evaluation, the physical therapist will perform detailed tests and measures to determine if the child has a developmental delay. If a delay is established the therapist will help develop programs to perform at home to jump start improvements in the patient. A therapist will provide guided feedback for performing motor skills, including cues to make skills easier or to help the child feel how a skill should be performed.
An important part of early development in infants is the use of “tummy time”. Young infants develop the important postural muscles in the neck, upper back and arms that make the progression to crawling and upright walking easier. Having a variety of positions that the child spends time in can stimulate brain growth and development and make skills like rolling and crawling more achievable.
If you are concerned that your child has a developmental delay, see their pediatrician for a referral to Physical therapy today! We treat children with developmental delay in the Clermont 34711 area.