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How do I know if my child has a developmental delay?

Know the telltale symptoms of maturational delay

Maturational delay is a fairly common developmental disorder that usually affects children in the early stages of life. Basically, consists of a delay in the normal course of development that affects several areas, from thinking, language and communication to motor skills or even growth. Thus, the child with a maturational delay has a chronologically lower development than that corresponding to his age, which makes him behave like a younger child.

In most cases, maturational delay begins to be noticed from the earliest years, although it sometimes goes unnoticed until around the age of two or three, when parents realize that their child is not able to do the same things as his or her peers. That is why it is so important be on the lookout for any signs that may indicate a disturbance in child development, This will allow treatment to begin as soon as possible.

Signs that alert to the presence of a maturational delay in the first year of life.

  • He starts crawling after 12 months or even later, when most children his age are already learning to walk.
  • It takes a year or more to begin to babble their first words.
  • Shows no interest in showing or demonstrating toys and things that interest him/her.
  • He is unable to react when called by name or shown objects that should arouse his interest.
  • Does not recognize familiar sounds such as a parent's voice, the doorbell ringing, or the barking of the house dog.
  • Cannot imitate actions, sounds or rhythms even if they are very simple.
  • Is oblivious and disinterested in toys and games.

Signs of maturational delay from the second year of life onward

  • When the other children are already walking, he is just beginning to take his first steps.
  • He is unable to integrate with other children of his age to play.
  • Does not recognize drawings, objects or photos of close people.
  • He does not show interest in imaginary games since his imagination is at a very incipient level.
  • He is not able to follow the thread of a long conversation or a children's story because he quickly loses concentration.
  • Cannot follow simple rules, nor orders that involve more than one execution.
  • He is incapable of answering elaborate questions as he tends to have a very limited vocabulary.
  • He does not usually express his emotions or his physical state in words, so it is difficult to know how he feels.
  • Cannot concentrate on a specific activity for more than 10 minutes.
  • His games are not symbolic in nature as he is unable to abstract from the concrete form or function of an object or toy.

How do children with developmental delay evolve?

In a general sense, most children with developmental delays usually progress to normal development for their age, provided they receive appropriate stimulation. In fact, in almost all cases the maturational delay is temporary, since it only extends during the child's first 3 or 4 years.

However, when left untreated, maturational delay may become more pronounced and remain throughout childhood, and even during adolescence and young adulthood. In these cases The school also plays a key role, because if the child is labeled as a child who is behind in school, it is likely that, far from overcoming the alteration, the symptoms will be accentuated.