Development Delay

ReChild development is the process by which babies and children acquire ever more complex skills as they mature.

Child Development

All children develop differently, however, generally more basic skills are learnt first, which are then combined and built upon to achieve more sophisticated abilities, for example mastering standing prior to walking.

We know when children are expected acquire new skills, for example, smiling, sitting, crawling or jumping.  These are called ‘developmental milestones’ and are associated with specific age brackets.  This is how children are identified as developing at a differently, either faster or slower, to what is termed as ‘normal.’

The rate at which children move through their milestones varies greatly so there are wide brackets of time to indicate the normal development for a specific skill acquisition or milestone.  In addition, children often do not acquire skills in the same order.  Irrespective of these varieties, children continue to develop all the time, following their own individual path.

Developmental Delay

Developmental Delay is the term used to describe young children who reach developmental milestones later than their peers.  Developmental delay impacts on some or all elements of a child’s development.  These include:

  • Movement
  • Cognitive (thinking) and learning
  • Behaviour, social and emotional
  • Communication

Children diagnosed with specific conditions often initially present with delayed development.  Health professionals may use the term Developmental Delay until the cause of the delay is identified and a diagnosis made.  The impact of developmental delay on the life of a child can only be assessed through observations made over time.

Children with Developmental Delay display the ability to learn, however, they will take longer to acquire new skills.  The learning process may also be altered, for example smaller steps or pieces of information are required to assist the child to master the task.  Therapy plays an important role in identifying specific barriers to completing a task and developing strategies to facilitate the learning process.

Developmental delay is classified as either permanent or transient.  Children with transient developmental delay are slow to achieve millstones, but will do so in time and then proceed to progress normally through life.  Examples of causes of transient developmental delay are; premature birth, illness, immaturity or lack of opportunity to learn.

Permanent developmental delay is where the delay in achieving milestones persists.  The disorders which cause this are termed developmental disabilities, such as:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Language disorders
  • Muscle disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Intellectual Disability
Therapy for Developmental Delay at Child First Paediatric Therapy

At Child First Paediatric Therapy, our team of Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech Pathologistsare experienced in treating children with Developmental Delay.  Some children will use only one of the therapies but other children will be looked after by a combination to best meet their goals.

We Help Kids Reach Their Developmental Milestones through Our Development Delay Therapy

The assessment process includes a comprehensive examination of your child’s difficulties using a range of standardised and non-standardised assessments.  Activity analysis plays a large part of the assessment and is the process by which our paediatric therapists are able to identify the barriers preventing your child from mastering a specific task.  Taking time to learn about the concerns and difficulties your child encounters in everyday life also forms an important component of our assessment.

Our Development Delay Therapy Covers Motor, Speech, Cognitive and Social Development

Our therapists will devise strategies and treatments to assist your child to overcome barriers preventing mastery of activities important to you and your family.  Acquisition of skills and new learning will enable participation in a broader range of activities to enhance your child’s everyday life.