During a child’s first few years, parents eagerly await important milestones like their son or daughter’s first smile, steps, and words. However, sometimes a child might take longer than expected to reach some of these benchmarks. Approximately 1 in 4 children (26.2 percent) between the age of 4 months and 5 years are at a moderate or high risk for developmental delay, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health.
If you’re concerned that your child might be experiencing developmental issues, early screening and intervention in the form of pediatric developmental therapy is crucial. It’s important to know the signs of potential delays and seek treatment as soon as possible if you think your child might be struggling in any way.
Here are some red flags for possible developmental delays for kids at ages 1-5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You should consult with a medical professional if you notice the following warning signs in your son or daughter at age 1, according to the CDC.
- Doesn’t point
- Doesn’t crawl
- Doesn’t look for things they watched you hide
- Doesn’t shake their head or wave
- Can’t stand up with support
- Isn’t saying single words (e.g., “mama”)
For 2-year-old children, the following could indicate developmental delays.
- Not copying words and actions
- Not using two-word phrases (e.g., “drink water”)
- Cannot walk steadily
- Cannot follow simple instructions
- Can’t figure out what to do with common objects (e.g., a fork or spoon)
Watch out for these signs of developmental delays in your 3-year-old child.
- Frequently falls
- Has difficulty climbing stairs
- Has trouble making eye contact
- Doesn’t form sentences when speaking
- Shows difficulty understanding how simple toys work (e.g., puzzles)
- Doesn’t engage in imaginative play (pretend or make believe)
- Doesn’t speak clearly or drools
- Shows no interest in playing with toys or with other kids
Your 4-year-old child might be experiencing a developmental delay if they show any of the following signs, according to the CDC.
- Has trouble retelling their favorite story
- Incorrectly uses “me” and “you”
- Shows difficulty following three-part commands
- Doesn’t seem to understand the terms “same” and “different”
- Cannot jump in place
- Has problems scribbling
- Isn’t interested in pretending or playing interactive games in general
- Refuses to dress, sleep, and/or use the toilet
If you notice any of these issues, your 5-year-old might need pediatric developmental therapy.
- Unresponsive or responds superficially to other people
- Doesn’t display a range of emotions
- Inactive and withdrawn
- Still needs help to wash hands, brush teeth, and/or get undressed
- Struggles to use plurals and past tense correctly
- Can’t give their full name
- Can’t differentiate between reality and make believe
- Has trouble focusing on one thing for more than five minutes
- Doesn’t draw
- Demonstrates unusually sad, shy, fearful, or aggressive behavior
- Doesn’t discuss their day-to-day experiences
- Doesn’t engage in a range of activities and games
If you’re concerned because your child isn’t reaching important milestones, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Pediatric developmental therapy can make a big difference for children with issues related to language and communication, social-emotion skills, cognitive skills, gross and fine motor skills, self-help capabilities, and/or behavior.
Our pediatric developmental therapists look at children globally and specialize in a range of issues, such as speech delay, autism, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and more. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact us today by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing [email protected].