Child with Developmental Delay: Signs & Remedies

What is developmental delay in A child?

A child with developmental delay means that the child has not reached a specific milestone according to his/her age group. Or lags behind their peers in one or more areas such as emotional, mental or physical growth. For example, some common milestones are giving the first smile, speaking the first word, taking the first step, being able to sit and crawl. And also expressing emotions like happiness, anger, joy and excitement. Since the first few years of a child’s life are very important for their future growth and development, any kind of a child developmental delay can have a negative effect on a child’s social, emotional and mental growth. (Which foods should be introduced to babies?)


  • Premature Birth
  • Genetic conditions like down syndrome or muscular dystrophy
  • Malnutrition (Why nutrition is important?)
  • Poor eyesight or hearing 
  • Alcohol or drug use during pregnancy
  • Physical abuse
  • Lack of oxygen during delivery

5 Types of Child Developmental delay

  • Language or speech 
  • Motor Skills
  • Vision
  • Cognitive skills
  • Social and emotional skills

Global developmental delay in children refers to infants or preschoolers who face delays in two or more of these areas lasting for at least 6 months. However, there is a difference between developmental delay and developmental disabilities. While developmental delay is temporary and can be treated, developmental disability like cerebral palsy, hearing loss and autism is permanent and cannot be treated. Firstly, let us understand what are the causes, warning signs and treatment for different types of child developmental delay. (How balanced diet can help in proper growth and development?)


Since child with developmental delay will not be able to reach one or more of the milestones according to his/her age. Therefore, early treatment can make a big difference in the progress the child makes. Contact doctor if the child has any of the following signs at the age that is mentioned. And in addition, watch for any loss of skills that have already been learned.

Language and Speech Developmental Delay IN CHILDREN:

Language development of the child is an important aspect in child’s overall growth and development. But speech and language problems are the most common developmental delay a child faces. Similarly, The speech development of a child means verbal expression or the way words are spoken. Whereas the language development of the child refers to a broader concept of expressing, receiving and comprehending information.

  • Learning disability
  • Exposure to more than one language
  • Premature birth
  • Brain injury or trauma
  • Hearing loss
  • Autism
  • Apraxia of speech, a disorder where a child faces difficulty sequencing and executing words
AGELanguage and speech development
3-4 months •Unresponsive to loud noises
•Does not babble
•Babbles but doesn’t imitates sounds
7 monthsDoes not respond to sounds
1 year•Can’t speak single words like ‘Mama’ or ‘Papa’
(Doesn’t speak gibberish too, anything like sssbi, ebeedu)
•Doesn’t understand simple words like ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Bye’
2 years•Is not able to speak at least 15 words
•Does not use two word phrases
•Not able to use speech to communicate
Warning Signs for Language & Speech developmental delay


In case a child shows any of the warning signs mentioned above, consult with an occupational therapist, social worker, speech-language pathologist or an audiologist. In addition, use the tips and remedies mentioned below:

  • Start talking to baby before birth
  • Communicate more with your child
  • Read stories to your child daily
  • Play word games with your child

Moreover, adding foods that support brain development can help to improve language development.


Motor skills development in children refers to the development of gross motor skills such as walking or crawling. Whereas fine motor skills means picking a spoon or holding a sippy cup. A child facing motor skill developmental delay may experience difficulty coordinating certain movements such as holding a pencil, walking and performing activities requiring brain and body coordination.

  • Premature birth
  • Cerebral Palsy (brain damage before birth)
  • Myopathy (a disease of muscles)
  • Brain injury
  • Ataxia (defective muscle coordination)
  • Problems with vision
  • Spina Bifida (birth defect in the baby that occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not develop completely)
3-4 months •Not able to grasp or hold objects
•Doesn’t support head well
•Can’t bring objects to their mouth
•Not able to push down legs for moving when their feet are firmly placed on the ground(4 months)
7 months •Has stiff muscles
•Reaches with one hand only or doesn’t reach
•Not able to get objects to mouth
•Doesn’t roll over in either direction (5 months)
•Not able to sit up on own or with help(6 months)
1 year •Not able to crawl
•Drags one side of the body while crawling
•Can’t stand with support
2 years•Not able to walk
•Hasn’t developed a heel to toe walking pattern
•Can’t push a wheeled toy
Warning Signs for Motor Skills Developmental Delay

In case a child shows any or some of the warning signs mentioned above, Doctor may suggest to encourage more physical activity. In addition, physical or occupational therapy helps with fine motor problems or sensory processing disorder (when brain has trouble processing sensory information) . (Which foods can improve bone health?)


The social development of a child refers to his/her interactions with adults or other children. Therefore, The social and emotional developmental delays affects how the child perceives the world. And this causes them to react differently than other children when exposed to the same environmental stimuli.


  • Brain injury
  • Child abuse or trauma
  • Parental neglect
  • Ineffective parenting
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (Impaired communication and interaction skills)
Warning Signs:
3-4 months •Doesn’t smile at people
•Doesn’t pay attention to new faces
7 months •Doesn’t cuddle
•Shows no affection for parents
•Can’t be comforted at night (after 5 months)
•Doesn’t smile without prompting (by 5 months)
1 year•No back and forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or facial expressions (at 9 months)
•No back and forth gestures such as waving, reaching or pointing
Warning Signs for Social Skills Developmental Delay


Certainly a good occupational, speech, or social developmental delay specialist can help to improve the social development of a child. For example, treatment involves speaking with your child and helping them understand social and emotional cues. Therefore, supplementing their treatment with certain prescribed medications for dealing with emotional and behavioral problems like ADHD, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and sudden bouts of anger can help.


Since the cognitive development of the child means how a child thinks, explores and figures things out. Therefore, the cognitive developmental delay in a child hampers child’s learning ability.


  • Exposure to alcohol or toxins before birth or afterward, including lead poisoning
  • Neglect during early childhood
  • Down syndrome and other genetic disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Newborn medical complications
  • Learning disability
Warning Signs:
1 year•Does not search for objects that are hidden while they watch
•Not uses gestures such as waving
•Does not point to objects or pictures
2 years•Can’t follow simple instructions
•Doesn’t imitate actions or words
•Doesn’t know the use of common things like hairbrush, telephone or spoon
Warning Signs for Cognitive Skills Developmental Delay


As a result, behavioral and occupational therapy, special education and prescribed medications can help with the cognitive development of the child. In addition, giving ayurvedic herbs regularly in addition to brain foods can help with the cognitive development.

Visual Developmental Delay in children:

Certainly, the visual development of the child is a complex combination of the eye, brain and vast network of nerves that connects them. Till 6 months, a newborn’s vision is blurry and it improves as the child begins to coordinate sight in both eyes. But sometimes, this does not happen or other vision or eyesight related problems show up.


  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus or cross eyes
  • Refractive errors like nearsightedness and far sightedness
  • Infantile cataracts or clouding of the eye’s lens
  • an eye disease called Retinopathy of Prematurity (Inherited problem)
Warning Signs:
AGEVisual Development
3-4 months•Doesn’t follow moving objects with their eyes
•Or doesn’t notice hands (by 2 months)
•Can’t move one or both eyes in all directions
•Or crosses eyes most of the time
6 months•One or both eyes turn in or out all the time(6 months)
•Constant tearing or eye drainage(6 months)
•Or doesn’t follow near or far objects with both eyes (6 months)
Warning signs for Visual Developmental Delay


Eventually, depending on the vision or eye problem that a child is suffering, doctor might prescribe glasses, contact lenses, surgery or eye patch. Moreover, giving foods good for eyesight can help.

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