Early childhood development in Special Needs Children
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Early childhood development

New baby

During early childhood development,children develop and acquire skills at a different pace, within a certain window of time.

If you notice that your child is not doing things that other children are, at the same age, this might be a ‘red flag’ for you and so take the warning signs seriously that your child may be developmentally delayed.

Keep a journal, of what your child is capable of and where they are lagging behind, and discuss your concerns with your paediatrician .



Developmental delays


As a child grows, they learn and develop new skills within a certain time frame, that is considered age appropriate, early childhood development skills.

Developmental delays happen when your child has not reached certain milestones in the expected period of time. For example, anywhere between 9 and 15 months is considered within the normal range for a child to walk. If your little on has not started walking by 18 months, this is considered to be a developmental delay, and you should consult your paediatrician immediately.

All children develope at a different rate and pace. At this, or any age, a dramatic loss of skills once had may be a warning sign of a delay or disorder.

There are many different factors that can contribute to developmental delay; Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, like Down’s syndrome, Preemie babies, poor nutrition, or exposure to harmful drugs during pregnancy are all factors that can lead to a child being developmentally delayed.

Your paediatrician should be able to screen for delay’s, by simply having you fill out a questionnaire, or asking you various questions about what your can and cannot do, or which skills they acquired at which age.

If he is concerned, he may send your child for a formal screening test with a specialist who can determine delays in your child’s social, personal, fine and gross motor skills and also language skills.



Warning signs of developmental delay


Consider some of the following points as possible warning signs of early childhood developmental delay:

  • No reaction to loud noises
  • Has not discovered their hands, and they don’t put their hands in their mouth.
  • Don’t follow objects with their eyes or turn their head towards a sound.
  • Can’t support their head by themselves at 3 months
  • Can’t reach for toys or grasp them
  • Can’t bear weight on their legs at about 4 months.
  • Have either very stiff or very floppy limbs
  • Prefers one side of their body more than the other.
  • Can’t pick up small objects
  • Is clumsy, and falls often
  • Continuous drooling
  • Has unclear speech at about 1 year of age
  • Is not interested in playing with other children
  • Cannot follow simple instructions
  • Suffers from separation anxiety, when taken away from mother
  • Is scared of strangers
  • Cannot throw a ball, run or jump
  • Looses interest in an activity very quickly

If you are concerned that your child might be developmentally delayed, speak to your GP or paediatrician. They can point you in the right direction to get the best help for your child as soon as possible.

Early intervention is essential, as this will help your child to achieve their milestones and develop a good self esteem.


Related Articles


Physical Developmental Milestones
Physical development or gross motor milestones are skills that your little one will learn in a given time frame, as they develope grow and learn how to use their bodies...

Intellectual developmental skills
It was always thought that babies where not capable of thinking or reasoning, but we have learnt otherwise...

Social developmental skills
A child's social development and emotional level depends mostly on which developmental stage they are currently going through...

Language developmental skills
Language skills are learnt long before your baby can actually talk, or form understandable words, by gurgling and making various sounds...


Resources

Have you wondered when it would be time for your little one to move to a "big bed" or give up their bottle, pacifier or day time nap?
Marcia at DaycareAnswers.com has some great guidelines for parents and daycare providers about what to expect from your little one as they grow and mature into little adults.

Cute Baby Kids Paradise
Useful resource for parents featuring advice, information & tips caring for your newborn, baby & kids development.



Recommended Reading:
Early Childhood Development




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