If your kid has turned three and still hardly speaks any words other than “Maa”, then it can fill any parent with fear whether their child’s mental growth is stunted. Development in children is more than a physical process. On the outside, your child may be healthy, but is he mentally developing? Is his communication skills getting any better?
When parents go through such kind of a phase, it can make anyone anxious. But development delays can be rectified if spotted on time.
Developmental Delays in children can be of many types and some basic ones are delay in communication or development of speech, emotional delay, delay in the development of motor skills and delay in the development of thoughts.
Language and Speech Delays:
Speech Delay and Language delay are not the same. In speech delay, the kid finds it hard to pronounce words or utter them properly or at all. It is a delay in learning how to speak. But in language delay, a kid is unable to express himself or learn a language.
Such delays may be associated with a bigger problem like hearing loss in kids, tongue issues or any genetic problem. Some children who are not breastfed as a child also develop such language delays but overcome them as they grow older.
For treating both speech and language delays in children, a speech therapist must be consulted or one can get tests done through a speech-language pathologist. The hearing of the child is also tested to find out the real cause of the delay. Speech therapists can only be helpful where it comes to pronunciation or uttering of words.
Parents also have a role to communicate better with their children. Keep repeating words which the child has a problem with. Communicate more frequently and try to improve the child’s vocabulary.
If your child is not social or prefers to be alone instead of playing with other kids or mingling, then it may be a sign of emotional delay.
Emotional delay can be there if your child is autistic.
For autism, medication and behavioral therapy can prove fruitful.
If your kid does not have proper functioning of motor skills, you can identify it by seeing how they play with a ball, if their muscles are coordinated or not.
Delay in development of motor skills may be caused by lack of proper vision, deficiency in nutrients in the body or trouble in the brain coordination with the muscles.
Physiotherapy and medication can help with this.
Delay in Thought-provoking skills:
This is the delay in a child’s ability to learn, think and be able to remember. The delay depends upon the child’s age. It can be caused by premature birth or a genetic defect.
Medication, Play therapy along with behavioural therapy.