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Understanding Motor Developmental Delay

In our series on early intervention, this month, we look at Motor Developmental Delay, also referred to as delay in a child’s movement.

By Dr Arpan Kumar and Dr Pooja Sharma

Last month, in our developmental delay series, we looked at cognitive delay or delay in thinking and understanding. This month, it is about movement and muscle coordination. If you’ve been following our series, you’d know that a developmental delay is indicated when a child has not reached particular milestones within the expected time period. We also need to consider that children don’t develop skills on a strict timetable. For example, some babies start walking when they are just 9 months old while others don’t take their first steps until 15 months. In both these cases, the babies are still within the range of typical development. Plus, minor differences related to a child performing a skill aren't usually causes for concern. A developmental delay is only when it is more than just being ‘slower to develop’ or ‘a little behind’. Such a delay is shown by a child who is lagging beyond the developmental range or is continually behind his peers.

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