It is very normal for parents to worry about whether our children are following an adequate rate of development. We compare our little ones with other children their age, we look for information about signs of maturational delay in children... However, before alerting ourselves we must know and be clear that development in children follows a series of stages that occur in a certain order, but that their acquisition ages vary from one child to another.
We can say that each child follows his own rhythm and that it is not always that a child takes time to acquire a skill or developmental milestone we are faced with a problem or difficulty in the child. There may be a child who walks alone at 11 months and another who does it at 14 months; both would be within normal parameters, even if there are a few months apart.
There are a series of critical ages in which if a certain ability, skill or developmental milestone has not been reached, we may be facing a delay in that area. It may be a delay in one area of development or in several, for example, a delay in language, motor, social ... If we look at the previous example, if a 15-month-old baby has not acquired autonomous gait we can say there is a delay in the acquisition of this evolutionary milestone.
The detection and diagnosis of a maturational or developmental delay usually occurs at an early age, up to 6 years of age, and this is essential for the child to receive adequate therapeutic care, since these developmental delays have consequences in later ages and they can be the symptom of other types of disorders. For this reason, early detection and intervention by specialists is of great importance.
The first thing we have to be clear about is that to establish whether or not a child has a developmental or maturational delay must be evaluated by a specialist in Pediatrics or Early Care, and that we should go when we have the suspicion that something is not 'going' well in the development of our child. As an example, some signals can be:
Motor and postural area
1. At 8 months there is no turning.
2. At 11-13 months do not sit alone or do not stay seated independently.
3. At 16 months, he has not acquired autonomous walking.
4. At 2 years old, he cannot kick a ball.
5. If after 3-4 months does not laugh.
6. At 8 months, he does not turn towards the voice or the sounds that we put near his ear.
7. There is no babbling with 6 months.
8. After a year he does not recognize his name.
9. At two years old, he does not point to parts of the body, or does not combine two words to ask for things.
10. At 8 months, no objects are passed from one hand to another, or the handkerchief is not removed from his face when we cover it.
11. Does not indicate with 14-15 months.
12. Does not stack cubes making towers at 2 years.
13. If there is no play or imitation of gestures at 12 months.
14. Lack of collaboration in dressing and undressing for a year and a half.
15. At 2 years old, he is not able to use the spoon to eat (even if it drops a little).
16. At a year and a half, he doesn't drink from a glass by himself.
These 'signals' should be taken as examples of some items that are used when evaluating by professionals whether or not a child has a developmental or maturational delayTherefore, we should not be alarmed if our two-year-old son does not drink from a glass by himself. If there is one thing that it does not do, but does many others, we are not talking about maturational or developmental delay, we are talking about a lack of skill for a certain activity, for example. In order for us to speak of a delay in development or maturation, it has to be a more general or global delay, not just in a specific aspect in an area.
What is really important, as parents, is that when we suspect that something in our child's development is not going well, consult with health professionals and early care, which are the ones that can best advise and guide us.
You can read more articles similar to 16 possible warning signs of maturity delay in babies, in the category of on-site development stages.