Growth & Development

Signs of Developmental Disorders

Morinaga Platinum - 25 January 2019

Most parents do not realize when their children have developmental disorder. Each child has different development process, causing the speed of developmental achievement is also different. The time range of achievement of each developmental stage is usually also quite long. For example, it is categorized as normal for children to be able to walk between the age of 10-18 months. So there is often a difference in development among the children of the same age. Therefore, Moms should be able to recognize and understand the signs of developmental disorders on the children.

Developmental disorders can occur in one aspect of development only or can also occur in more than one aspect. Children’s aspects of development consist of speech, vision, rough and fine motor skills, social-emotional skills and language.

Moms should recognize the general signs of children’s developmental disorders. By recognizing the signs early on, you could find out the cause and the proper solutions. Here are some signs of developmental disorders that you should observe:

Signs of Speech Disorder

Speech delay is the most common children’s developmental disorder. There are several things that can cause this, which are:

  • Children get used to hearing more than 1 language in their daily activities
  • Muscular abnormalities around the mouth and tongue
  • Hearing disorder, such as ear infection, hearing nerve problems, or congenital abnormalities.
  • Autism

Signs of Impaired Vision

Until the age of 6 months, infants still have imperfect vision. However, after that age, their vision will gradually get better. Generally, impaired vision begins to occur when children enter the school and can be caused by:

  • Refractive abnormalities (nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatism)
  • Lazy eye or amblyopia
  • Cataracts
  • Retinopathy (abnormalities in the retina)
  • Strabismus

Signs of Rough Motor Skill Disorder

Some signs that you need to be aware of include:

  • Unbalanced movements, e.g. between left and right limbs
  • The settling of primitive reflexes (the reflexes that appears during infancy) up to more than the age of 6 months
  • Impaired muscle tone
  • Uncontrolled movement

Delays can occur because:

  • Ataxia (coordination disorder on the skeletal muscle)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Visibility abnormalities
  • Spina bifida (spinal cord disorder)

Signs of Fine Motor Skill Disorder

Some signs that are likely to happen include:

  • Babies are still clenching their hand after the age of 4 months
  • One hand is more dominant than the other before the age of 1 year
  • Oral exploration (such as inserting toys into the mouth) is still very dominant after the age of 14 months

Signs of Social-Emotional Skill Disorder

  • 6 months: rarely smiling or showing any happy expression
  • 9 months: rarely talking and showing facial expression
  • 12 months: not responding when being called
  • 15 months: unable to say a word
  • 18 months: unable to play mock
  • 24 months: unable to say 2 significant words
  • All ages: no babbling, talking, and interaction

Signs of Cognitive Ability Disorder

  • 4 months: lack of eyes ability to follow the movement of an object
  • 6 months: Have no respond or searching for a sound source
  • 9 months: no babbling simple words like mama, baba
  • 24 months: no meaningful word yet
  • 36 months: unable to string 3 words yet

If you suspect that your children are having a delay in one or some of the above aspects, immediately consult a pediatrician to get an evaluation and therapy.