Developmental delays have been said to account for one of the most common conditions affecting children under the age of 5 years old. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, developmental delays occur when children acquire skills at a slower rate than other kids their age. 1out of 4 children are at risk of developmental delays. Delays can occur as a results of prematurity, environment restraints, as well as a wide range of medical disorders such as Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, sensory processing disorders and Spina Bifida to name a few.
Common Gross Motor Delays
• Difficulties with head control
• Difficulties rolling
• Sitting difficulties
• Difficulties standing
• Difficulties walking
• Inability to jump
• Difficulties running
How Is it Diagnosed?
Early detection is important to determine whether or not your chid has delays. Parents should talk to their pediatrician even with the slightest concerns about their child’s development. Delays can occur in one or more areas including gross motor, fine motor, speech, cognitive, social and emotional. In some cases a multidisciplinary team approach involving assessments by any combinations of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and/or early intervention specialists can be warranted to determine delays and recommendations for services. Standardized test(s) are used to compare how your child is functioning as compared to kids their age and are used to determine whether or not your child has any delays. Peabody Development Delays is a commonly used standardized test amongst physical therapists to determine the presence or lack of gross motor and fine motor delays.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Physical therapists are trained in administering tests, evaluating movement patterns, assessing strength, range of motion and forming clinical judgements regarding your child’s physical health. Once the appropriate tests have been performed, a skilled physical therapist can guide the family to determine the best course of action to address all findings that are outside of the norms. This can involve devising a plan to address limitations in mobility, strength, range of motion, gross motor and fine motor skills. This should also include family education on techniques, exercises and precautions to be carried out at home to assist with expediting recover.
If you feel your child may not be moving at the rate they should be contact our office for a consultation.