Developmental delay

What is developmental delay?
Developmental delay is when a child does not reach his/her developmental milestones by a time or age that is expected. Developmental milestones are tasks most children learn or develop that commonly appear in certain age ranges. For example, head control, rolling, crawling, walking and talking.

Child development refers to the process of development and the achievement of certain developmental milestones. Abnormal delays in development, preventing a child from reaching these milestones refers to developmental delay. These may affect a child’s motor, speech and language and social skills. A child that has delay in all these areas is said to have global developmental delay.

Child milestones develop in an ordered fashion over time. Children develop at different rates and have different strengths and weaknesses which mean that a diagnosis of developmental delay is often difficult unless a child’s development is substantially below their expected level.

What causes developmental delay?

Developmental delay may be caused by many reasons. Genetic and environmental factors have an increasing impact on a child’s development. It is difficult to comprehend that your child is unable to develop normal coordination skills. Also, it becomes all the more daunting when you realize that your child is unable to develop essential learning skills as well. There can be many different causes of developmental delay such as genetic problems, problems during pregnancy of birth, and problems during early infancy or childhood such as infection or head injury.

Genetic factors

Children are at risk of acquiring developmental delay if they are born with a genetic or chromosomal abnormality such as Down’s Syndrome. This abnormal development may occur in the womb while the baby is still growing.

Environmental factors

Developmental delay may also occur due to premature birth, genetic and heredity disorders, and exposure to infections either before or after birth.

Every child with developmental delay present differently. Some children may have delays in a particular area, such as walking while the rest of their skills may continue developing on time.
A parent may become concerned if their child’s physical, speech, or intellectual development seems slower in one or more areas than the average range of development occurring in most children.

Diagnosis may be complex as many other conditions have similar symptoms. Many children for whom the reason for their developmental delay may not be established will be classed as undiagnosed developmental delay.

What are the signs of motor developmental delay?

Motor developmental delay affects a child’s ability to use their muscles and may involve fine and/or gross motor skills. Gross motor delays affect the large muscles in the arms, legs or trunk resulting in movement difficulties. Fine motor delays affect the smaller muscles, commonly in the hands which causes problems with handwriting and the ability to grasp objects.

Some of the signs of a motor delay include:

  • Achieving developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting, crawling and standing later than the predicted age
  • Stiffness in the upper and/or lower limbs
  • Reduced tone in the trunk compared with other children of a similar age
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Problem with tying shoelaces
  • One side of body is used significantly more than the other
  • Difficulty walking
  • Very clumsy compared with other

Physiotherapy for developmental delay

Physiotherapy treatment should be started as early as possible as a child’s brain can adapt easily therefore they respond well to treatment. Physiotherapy will help a child’s ability to learn how to complete everyday tasks more effectively and will improve balance, walking, handwriting and general physical activities. Physiotherapy treatment will improve a child’s motor skills by increasing muscle strength, improving balance and coordination and their quality of walking.

Physiotherapy for developmental

Physiotherapy treatment will improve motor developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting, crawling and walking and physical development such as balance, coordination and mobility. Physiotherapy will also promote correct positioning, and provide fun and stimulating exercises to gain postural stability and coordination. Physiotherapy will also aim to increase physical development by helping children achieve their milestones as soon as possible.

Physiotherapy treatment

At Blossom physiotherapy center they offer an early intervention when waiting lists are long and you are looking for treatment. Our specialist pediatric physiotherapists at blossom physiotherapy center are in treating babies and children with developmental delay and significant progress can be made. Physiotherapy treatment will focus on:

  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Stretching stiff joints
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Promoting normal patterns of movement
  • Achieving milestones
  • Achieving maximum potential
  • Improving quality of life
  • Promoting independence with everyday tasks

The physiotherapists will promote physical development and the achievement of milestones as soon as possible, e.g. rolling, crawling and walking. Physiotherapy treatment may involve:

  • Exercises to increase muscle strength and control so that your child is able to shift their body weight and balance better
  • Exercises to increase mobility and their success of learning to walk based around everyday activities Physiotherapy may involve exercise for the hand to improve writing and grasping objects
  • Mirror imaging to increase your child’s awareness of where their limbs are in space at rest and during movement (proprioception)
  • Muscle stretching to lengthen muscles, reduce contractures and increase range of movement
  • Correcting and varying positioning to improve head and trunk control. For example, supporting your child in sitting to develop weight shifting, rotation, coordination and balance
  • Exercises to increase quality of movement or teaching new ways of moving
  • Advice about supportive devices such as using a wheelchair, orthotic devices or other adaptive equipment if necessary
  • Hydrotherapy treatment helps relax stiff muscles and joints and maximises mobility in water

Physiotherapy treatment will involve using a variety of exercises that are both fun and effective in a stimulating and safe environment. Physiotherapy treatment has the ability to help your child achieve their maximum potential and develop independence. Physiotherapists are mainly concerned with the development of body postures and large movements (which require gross motor skills). Physiotherapy treatment aims to promote a child’s independence and ability to reach physical milestones.

physical milestones

Physiotherapists often use fun games and activities to help promote learning and normal development. Treatment is outlined specific to a child’s needs, age and abilities. They collaborate with parents, teachers and caretakers to help them understand the child’s needs and how they can help promote future independence.

games and activities

Role of Physiotherapy in Development Delay

Developmental Delay is concerned with the way children grow and mature from birth to adulthood. Physiotherapy has a completely different approach when dealing with a disorder as this, which requires patience, know-how about the physical and mental development in kids. Different treatment plans work for different children, as they have distinct developmental delay problems All children with developmental delay still have the potential to learn and develop but they may need additional support to achieve your goals and their potential.

additional support

Your physiotherapist will also give advice on positioning, equipment and be able to teach parents, cares and teachers activities to help your child reach developmental milestones and promote your child’s future independence

evaluate child

Your physical therapist will first evaluate your child, conducting an appropriate and detailed test to determine the child’s specific strengths and weaknesses. Your physical therapist will discuss your observations and concerns with you. If the child is diagnosed as having developmental delay, your physical therapist will problem-solve with you about your family’s routines and environment to find ways to enhance and build your child’s developmental skills.

child developmental skills

In addition to evaluating your child and the environment in which the child moves, the physical therapist can give detailed guidance on building motor skills 1 step at a time to reach established goals. The therapist may guide the child’s movements or provide clues to help the child learn a new way to move. For example, if a child is having a hard time learning to pull her up to a standing position, the physical therapist might show her how to lean forward and push off her feet. If a child cannot balance while standing, the physical therapist may experiment with various means of support, so he can safely learn new ways to stand.

practice skills

The physical therapist will also teach the family what they can do to help the child practice skills during everyday activities. The most important influence on the child is the family, because they can provide the opportunities needed to achieve each new skill.

help achieve a particular milestone

Your physical therapist will explain how much practice is needed to help achieve a particular milestone. A child learning how to walk, for example, covers a lot of ground during the day; your physical therapist can provide specific advice on the amount and type of activities appropriate for your child at each stage of development.

stage of development

Occupational Therapy

 Can assist your child to develop the skills required for play, fine motor, self help, and problem solving/cognition. Occupational therapists are skilled in providing directive and fun therapy intervention in order to work towards success in your identified goal areas.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists will provide engaging activities that may promote basic play skills such as “take out” and “put in” or more complex fine motor skills such as pincer grasp that allow your child to participate in preschool table top activities such as puzzles, threading and drawing. They also assist with transition to school and fine motor and cognitive skills required during the school years. Equipment prescription or environmental solutions may be required for home or school. Consultation regarding toileting can also be given.

Speech therapist:

They also play vital role in achieving speech in child with developmental delay with various achievement in speech milestones.

Special educators:

By giving various task they help in attains milestones goals which will improve IQ level of the child.


A qualified physiotherapist is skilled enough to help to cop up with difficulties which are face by patient. In Blossom physiotherapy center motivated physiotherapists will improve your child’s mobility by encouraging motivation to move and exploration of the world around them. There physiotherapists understand that each difficulty face by child with developmental delay, so our specialized treatment is suited to your child’s needs.
There physiotherapist examines the texture of muscle i.e spasticity or flaccidity and treat accordingly moreover they also help in correcting balance, coordination issues and difficulties in daily related activities. They provide moral support and fully friendly environment to the patient and family. This ultimately leads to strong mental state. Physiotherapy of developmental delay child is long process, and child achieve all milestones slowly so patients are very important in parents of such child. With good therapist, the journey becomes easy.

In Blossom physiotherapy Dr.Jyoti Gupta(MPT pediatrics) is senior physiotherapist and she is having specialize in pediatrics she is having vast experience in the field of peds. So she understand the psychology of the child and parents as well and work accordingly. Dr.Jyoti having team of occupational therapist, neuro prdiatic physiotherapist, special educators they all work precisely and patiently on child’s milestone and come with positive outcome. Blossom physiotherapy always help patients in achieving certain goals and go towards normal life. Blossom physiotherapy also provides yoga which will give fantastic result in behavior as well. So in nutshell Blossom physiotherapy is ready to help you in every manner. For further information log into blossomphysitherapy.

Post Tagged with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page