Developmental Delay

Developmental Delay

Developmental delay is a term used to describe when an infant or child is delayed in one or more areas compared to a range of normal development. The areas include fine motor skills, gross motor skills, speech and language, cognitive/ intellectual, social and emotional development. Developmental delay can be transient or persistent.

It’s important to understand the root cause of the developmental delay (if there is one) to therefore work out when progress can be expected. This may involve a number of medical tests. In most cases, children can improve in their affected area, and some even “catch up” completely with the right management. This can be achieved with the right intensive therapy, support and programs.

Common challenges:

  • Difficulty manipulating objects

  • Delay in meeting motor milestones (e.g. rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking)

  • Difficulty communicating needs

  • Difficulty understanding and producing speech

  • Difficulty problem solving

  • Lack of independence

  • Poor socialisation

  • Poor socialisation

  • Slowed learning

  • Behavioural problems

The role of a paediatric neurological physiotherapist in developmental delay:

Evidence shows that you can successfully treat many of the symptoms of developmental delay with a tailored neurological rehabilitation program designed by paediatric neurological physiotherapists. Paediatric neurological physiotherapists are physiotherapists with additional training and expertise in treating problems related to the brain, spinal cord, inner ear and nerves that affect childhood development. Developmental delay often benefits from a multi-disciplinary team approach, particularly when non-physical domains are affected. We can assist you in seeking other health professional expertise to complement your existing network.

What our skilled therapists can offer:

  • Understand your child’s medical history

  • Take a family-centered approach that is goal-focused

  • Undertake a thorough assessment of their developmental skills

  • Design a personalised neurological rehabilitation program that is holistic and considers the 24-hour routine.

  • Provide hands-on treatment to teach your child how to move better or more efficiently.

  • Provide advice on facilitating skill development and transfer into your child’s daily life, and education on how to best support your child’s health

  • Liaise with your child's network (e.g. kindergarten, school, other therapists) as appropriate

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