What are Developmental Milestones, and How Do I Know if My Child Is Hitting Them?

Developmental milestones are timeframes in which an infant or child should be learning to do certain things. Some examples of developmental milestones include rolling over, sitting up, walking, having words, forming sentences, and so on. And failure to hit certain milestones could be indicative of something called developmental delay

Developmental delays are more than just being a bit behind. They could include long-term and prolonged "lagging" in gross (sitting up, holding her head up, crawling and walking are examples) and fine (dexterity) motor skills, as well as language. Developmental delays can be addressed by early intervention, but if they are substantial enough and/or turn into developmental disability, it may be a good idea to see if you child's delays are a result of medical malpractice.

Pediatricians, child neurologists, neuropsychologist, and other experts use developmental milestones as a tool to help diagnose cerebral palsy and other conditions. Most of the time it's parents and grandparents who sense something is wrong. It is also incumbent upon your pediatrician to be monitoring your child's development.

Medical malpractice during pregnancy or birth is typically a preventable injury sustained to the child's brain. Lack of oxygen, infection, or extreme prematurity can certainly cause a child to be developmentally delayed.  Sometimes this can be diagnosed shortly after birth but other times the results of the injury are not evident until much later.

Parents may not know the true cause of their child's injury.

Many times, an injury to the brain means a person cannot control certain muscles, so it's important to assess your child's gross motor skills especially if you had a difficult or "high risk" pregnancy. 

If your child has trouble with gross or fine motor skills talk to him or her doctor about it.  And keep a journal of what your child can do and what he or she struggles with, plus take pictures or video.  It will help you remember everything and give the best information to your doctor.

If you think your child is not meeting developmental milestones, it may just be that she is developing at her own pace.  But if you suspect a birth injury or trauma or difficult labor played a part in causing developmental delay, take action to get all the information today.

Give is a call at 202-393-3320 if you have any questions about development delays. You can speak with a real person for no cost and no obligation. You can also request your free copy of our resource guide for special-needs children: Getting Everything Your Special Needs Child Deserves. Just give us a call today and we will put your free copy in the mail.