Saturday, 16 May 2015

Milestones: Red a flags To Watch For

When my daughter was born, my first child, I remember religiously checking the milestone charts to ensure she was keeping up with her skills. I never really thought about what if she couldn't keep up or was doing what she was expected to do at a certain age. 

When my health visitor pointed out that my 1 year old son wasn't yet using a pincer grasp I was worried, why can't he do it?

But as we all know babies and toddlers learn at different paces.


There may be factors such as Down's syndrome, foetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual delay caused by inherited factors, premature babies may be more prone to development delays. 

Here are just a few warning signs of what to look for. 

LANGUAGE AND SPEECH
It is quite common for toddlers to experience some language and speech delays. They may not be able to understand the way that words are formed or understand language given in the form of direction. 

By 3-4 months if baby doesn't react to loud noises, doesn't try to babble or not trying to imitate noises. 

By 7 months if baby doesn't respond to sounds. 

By 1 year not being able to form words. 

By 2 years old not knowing between 30-50 words, not being able to put two words together or not using speech to communicate. 


Causes;
Learning disability
The muscles controlling speech- dysarthria
Hearing loss
Autism

Treatment;
Communicate with your child as much as possible
Read to them
Reinforce speech and language, help them to say and pronounce words correctly
Middle ear infection treatment

VISION
Up until around 6 months a baby's vision is blurry. 

By 3 months baby not being able to follow moving objects with eyes, not noticing their own hands, trouble moving one or both eyes, crossed eyes. 

By 7 months eyes turn in or turn out, tearing, sensitive to light, not following objects with both eyes. 

Causes;
Lazy eye
Poor vision in one eye
Infant cataract
Eye disease
Squint

Treatment;
Glasses
Contact lenses
Surgery

MOVEMENT AND MOTOR SKILLS
This includes crawling walking and grasping. 

By 3-4 months
Doesn't reach to grasp objects
Cannot support head 
Cannot put objects to mouth
Didn't push feet when placed against firm surface

By 7 months
Stiff, tight or floppy muscles
Only reaches with one hand
Doesn't actively reach for objects
Trouble putting objects in mouth
Can't sit without support
Not bearing weight on legs 

By 1 year old
Not crawling
Drags one side of their body
Cant stand up whilst supported
Can't use a push along toy
Doesn't walk heel to toe

Causes;
Prematurely born-muscles not developing at the same rate as other children
Autism
Genetic muscular disorder
Cerebral palsy
Learning difficulty
Muscle disease
Vision problems
Spins bifida


Treatment;
Encourage child to be more physically active
Tummy time
Physiotherapy
Occupational therapy 

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS
Social and emotional problems such as problems interacting. These normally occur before school age. 

By 3 months
Doesn't smile
Doesn't pay attention to new faces or seems frightened

By 7 months
Doesn't show affection to parent or sibling
Appears to have no enjoyment around people
Can't be comforted
Doesn't smile without being prompted
Doesn't laugh or squeal
Has no interest in playing games such as peek a boo

By 1 year old
Doesn't share sounds back and forth
Doesn't smile or show facial expressions
Doesn't wave, reach or point

Causes;
Neglect
Attachment problems
Learning difficulties 
Autism
Asperger syndrome
Retts syndrome

Treatment;
Medication for behavioural problems
Therapy
More interaction outsid of home environment

As with all medical problems the sooner you spot the symptoms the sooner they can be treated. 


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