At two months old, he begins to smile, make gurgling sounds, and turn his head towards sounds. At six months old, he responds to his name, rolls over from front to back and vice versa, and can sit without support. When he reaches his first year, he can utter simple words, copy people’s gestures, and walk while holding on to you or a piece of furniture. By the time he’s two, he recognizes people other than his parents, repeats words he overhears in a conversation, and can throw, climb, and run!
To parents, their child’s developmental milestones are a major deal. Remember when your little one said his first word, stood up on his own for the first time, and walked all by himself? Priceless.
But what if your young son or daughter has yet to speak his or her first word, walk steadily, or follow simple instructions?
When a child doesn’t exhibit the developmental milestones for his age, he may have a condition known as developmental delay. Sure, kids develop at their own unique pace, and just because your son or daughter doesn’t show the particular milestones of his or her age doesn’t always mean it’s a cause for concern.
Still, it pays to observe and address these early signs of delay—and to rule out other conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), hearing loss, autism, and other developmental disorders. Ma. Veronica N. Reloza, MDof top hospital in the country Makati Medical Center’s (MakatiMed)Department of Pediatrics, identifies the areas where your little one may lag in development, some symptoms to look out for, and what to do if he or she is indeed developmentally delayed.
According to Dr. Reloza, development milestones—and delays—show up in five areas: movement (which deals with gross motor development), cognitive (which covers learning, thinking, and problem solving), language and communication (referring to expressive and receptive or speaking and understanding spoken language), social and emotional (which involves interacting with others and displaying appropriate feelings), and self-care (adaptive) skills.
“Movement delays could manifest as difficulty or inability to stand or walk at a certain age (gross motor skills) or having trouble grasping objects or moving fingers and toes (fine motor skills),” she says. Cognitive delays range from not being able to follow simple instructions to regression or losing of a skill once learned. “Not being able to say simple words like “mama” or “dada” is the most telling symptom of a language and communication delay, and not making eye contact and refusing to play with toys or other children are examples of social and emotional delays,” Dr. Reloza explains.
Tests and evaluations can determine if your child’s symptoms are due to developmental delays, or something more.
Whatever the findings, it’s important to maintain a positive, supporting, and loving attitude as parents. As Dr. Reloza says, “Developmental delays may be transient or pervasive but with the help and expertise of a qualified pediatrician specializing in this area and your tireless patience and gentle encouragement, our hope is to work together to help your child reach his fullest potential.”
For more information, please contact MakatiMed On-Call at +632.8888 999, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.makatimed.net.ph.
Karina is not your ordinary supermom. She juggles her time bonding with her three amazing kids while being in the loop on the latest happenings in the tech and lifestyle scene. Follow me on Instagram (@digitalfilipina) regularly visit www.digitalfilipina.com for daily dose of updates not just for moms but for everyone!