Delay in development: what is it, symptoms and treatment
The delay in the neuropsychomotor development occurs when the baby does not start to sit, cuddle, walk or speak at a predetermined stage, like other babies of the same age. This term is used by pediatricians, physical therapists, psychomotorists or occupational therapists when it is observed that the child has not reached certain expected development parameters for each phase.
Any baby may experience some type of delay in its development, even if the mother has had a healthy pregnancy, a birth without complications and the baby is apparently healthy. However, the most common is that this delay in development affects babies who have complications during embarassment, childbirth or birth.
Main signs and symptoms
Some signs and symptoms that may indicate that there is some delay in the development of the following:
- Hypotonia: weak muscles and flaccid posture;
- Difficulty sustaining the head for 3 months;
- Do not sit alone at 6 months;
- Do not start to gate before 9 months;
- Do not walk on the ground before 15 months;
- Do not eat solo until 18 months;
- No more than two words to form a sentence after 28 months;
- Do not control la orina ni las heces completely luego de los 5 años.
When the baby is premature, the “corrected age” must be calculated, which is carried out when the child is younger than 2 years and birth before 37 weeks, with the aim of evaluating the parameters of motor development; es decir, as the baby should perform certain tasks such as supporting the head or eating solo, if she was born at 40 weeks of gestation. For this reason it is necessary to correct her age to know if her development is going as expected. For him, he must obtain the number of weeks that he was missing from the child to complete the 40 weeks and sum up the number for each age that he must perform each action, such as gatear, walk, etc.
For example: a premature baby who was born at 28 weeks wants to decide that he missed 12 weeks to reach 40, those weeks can turn into months, and then, 12 weeks / 4 (weeks to 1 month) = 3 months. For this reason, at the age of 6 months (which the child is expected to sit around) the 3 months of the corrected age must be summed up, so that the child will sit around the 9 months of age.
How is the diagnosis performed?
For the diagnosis, a medical evaluation is necessary and it is important to know data about how the pregnancy was, the childbirth and the first days of the baby and if there is any genetic disorder; for him, blood tests or imaging tests, such as electroencephalogram and computerized tomography, can be performed, with the purpose of observing the cerebral alterations that could be present, mainly if there is a suspicion of cerebral palsy or epilepsy.
Possible causes of delay in development
The delay in the neuropsychomotor development is caused by changes that may have occurred in the following situations:
- At the moment of conception;
- During embarazo: malnutrition, illnesses such as rubella, trauma;
- At the time of childbirth;
- Genetic disorders such as Down syndrome;
- Luego del birth, such as illnesses, traumatisms (including cranioencephalic ones), malnutrition;
- Other environmental or behavioral factors, such as malnutrition.
The baby that is born premature has a greater risk of presenting delay in the development; and even more premature sea, greater will be this risk.
Children diagnosed with cerebral palsy have a greater risk of delay in development; without embargo, not all children with delay in the development of cerebral palsy.
What does the treatment consist of?
The child with delay in development must undergo physiotherapy, psychomotricity and occupational therapy sessions every week until he can reach his goals, those who can sit, walk, eat alone, be able to maintain his personal hygiene, etc. During the consultation, several exercises are performed in a playful way to help strengthen the muscles, correct posture, stimulate vision and treat reflexes and blocks, as well as contractures and deformities.
This is a slow treatment that lasts for months or years until the child achieves the parameters that have to be developed. It is known that genetic syndromes have their own characteristics and that a child with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk alone, so each evaluation must be individual, with the purpose of verifying what the baby has and what its development potential is. , in this way, to bring the objectives of the treatment.
When the baby starts the treatment, the results will be better and faster, especially when it starts before the first year of life.
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