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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone --<br><br>
I'm wondering if anyone can help me understand the big picture in terms of developmental delays. My ds just turned 1. He is not yet crawling (though he has been trying for several months) nor is he saying words (though he babbles all his consonants). He's been a bit of a slow developer in all ways -- sitting at 8 months (instead of 6), pushing up to sit at 11 months (instead of 9) etc. He didn't even get a tooth until 10 months and still only has 3. Ultimately, he's developing, covering all the steps, but is several months behind. We will be taking him to a pediatric neurologist to check for anything wrong there, and he has had a CAT scan (which came out negetive) because he had two febrile seizures in a week.<br><br>
Needless to say, it's been a challenging few months as we see him 'almost' hit his milestones, but miss them, while all the other 1 year olds we know are passing him by.<br><br>
So I guess I am just looking for support in terms of what developmental delays really mean. My ds is a bright, funny, playful, peaceful little guy. He's had good head control since birth, loves to stand (with help and since about 3 months old), rolled over early and easily, and just seems like he's okay for the most part. He loves to fly around and doesn't seem to be high needs in any way.<br><br>
The problem since birth has seemed to be located in his arms. They have always been a little shaky and I think that that is what has delayed his ability to push himself up or start to crawl or hang onto things so he can walk around. he didn't 'grab' stuff until he was older than most curious babies, but now has no problem ripping open birthday present packages or putting a spoon (the right end) in his mouth. Our doctor says the muscle tone in his arms may be a little "tight" compared to the rest of his body. He also has a pretty small head (10th percentile) which our dr has never been worried about, but has always nagged at me.<br><br>
He's not terribly motivated in personality and is pretty mellow (plays easily by himself, loves to cuddle), and while he isn't extremely reactive to the world around him, he knows his name, recognizes words and items, and seems alert enough.<br><br>
So I guess I am just wondering if developmental delays can be 'grown out of', if they indicate long standing problems, or if there really is no way of telling. I just want him to be an ordinary boy, who can run and jump, play, laugh and read. And I just don't know if that is the future I am allowed to picture for us.<br><br>
Any words of assurance or wisdom?<br><br>
mskgandn<br><br><br><br>
(Cross-posted to health)
 

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My dd had physical therapy 3 times per week for over a year due to delays. At the age of 2 she fell down *lots* and couldn't manage a short inch-high step (she had to crawl over it instead). Today she is a very healthy 8-year-old who is right on target in all physical activities. I was able to get her therapy through First Steps and it was free. I have no doubt she would have eventually caught up without therapy, but it enabled her to reach goals much much sooner. Would this be an option for your ds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your story. I'm in a scary place right now and it helps to hear of stories about babies with challenges who were able, with help, to work through them. As for physical therapy, we're going to start with a neurological exam, then I would imagine that physical therapy is the next step. I would love to have someone work with him that knows more than I do about how to encourage his development. I will definitely follow up with First Steps. He's not that off target, so I want us to take this opportunity for him to grow.<br><br>
Thanks again,<br>
mskgandn
 

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THat doesn't sound too delayed to me. My DD sat up unassisted at six mo DS at around 7. Some DC never really crawl. Boys use vocab later than girls. My nephew didn't begin real speech until 18 mos or so. Again I wouldn't worry too much just yet.
 

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I would post this in Special Needs Parenting... you'll get better answers than here or the health forum.<br><br>
My 2nd son is mildly hypotonic and has had occupational therapy for almost a year. He had gross motor and oral motor delays. As far as fine motor, pyscho-social, and cognitive stuff, he's totally fine, if not advanced in some areas. Because of the therapy, he is able to eat and is caught up in the gross motor stuff.<br><br>
Your state should have an early intervention program which will do a free evaluation. If he qualifies, therapy is free (and believe me, that is a *significant* help).<br><br>
I would follow my intuition... if you think something is wrong, it's much better to check it out. When problems are caught early, it's easier to deal with them.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the comfort. There are days when I don't think that he's too delayed, and others where I imagine the worst things.<br><br>
mskgandn
 

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In response to your question as to whether delays can be outgrown. Some can be and others can't be- or can but may never reach the level of normal you imagine. I think that once you know what's going on you will feel a lot better/confident about the future.
 

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Hi, this could almost be a description of my 12 month old ds. My son is crawling, but he only babbles a handful of sounds and I don't get the sense that he understands words except 'milk' if I also sign and get quite exaggerated!<br><br>
We had an appointment with his peadiatrician a few weeks ago and she said that there is nothing at all to worry about with his development. His speech is quite far behind but she said everything else is well within normal ranges. Being below average is not a problem - the averages couldn't esist unless a significant portion fell under them after all!<br><br>
I'm learning to relax where my son's development is involved. It's interesting that you say your baby has a calm nature. My son is very much the same. I do think the development is linked to personality. I think out babies are content to sit and observe and take life at a slower pace and I'm learning to realise that that's just fine.<br><br>
I've had to ask myself what is a problem for him and what is a problem for <i>me</i>. His development is not causing him any problems, it was <i>me</i> who started feeling anxious. I guess we imagine that our babies will meet all the milestones on time - perhaps I even imagined that all my attention would make him develop faster. My son is helping me to realise that people learn at their own pace and that his value does not lie in whether he can tick the boxes on a developmental checklist. It sounds to me like you son is a bit behind average but just fine.<br><br>
I do understand those days when you worry - I still have them. I find the most helpful thing when i feel that way is to stop reading anything to do with development - i even stop coming to these boards sometimes just so I don't read about developmental milestones! It helps me to just re-connect with my son as the person he is - outsie of any imposed expextations. I realise that he's just fine the way he is - not just fine, but wonderful, and I feel a lot better.
 

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Hi mskgandn,<br><br>
Im an early interventionist and wanted to offer some thoughts....<br>
if you have any worry in the world, I would contact the early intervention system in your state (you do not need a dr.s permission, referral, or even their opinion for this. "mama's wisdom" rules in birth to three services!!) try looking up ECDC (early childhood direction center)--many states have that agency and they can direct you to the people who can do a thorough developmental eval and connect you with all the info, services, resources you may need. as someone earlier mentioned, it is of no cost to families. it is federally funded and based on child's needs.<br>
I have to offer a contrast slightly to the poster that says if the dr. is not concerned--therefore you neednt be. as an EI for almost 10 yrs I have seen many too many "oh, she'll be fine" children whose dr.s missed some early signs and chances. (remember, they are concerned about <i>physical growth</i>, which leaves some of them--not all--missing some important <i>developmental growth</i> cues--just my opinion...)<br>
But as the same poster also mentioned, try not to worry too much, mama. your ds is developing at his own wonderful pace, and your awareness, and lovingness is what he needs most of all.<br>
if, perchance, a "delay" is discovered upon evaluation, and he may need some focused intervention, just take it one step at a time. (sometimes they can figure out why, sometimes never, sometimes grown out of, sometimes not, and you cant know now where he'll be in one year,or three, etc. one step at a time...)<br>
Just to reassure you a bit, sitting at 8 months is perfect, children do sometimes skip crawling, and 1st teeth are wildly unpredictable coming both at 4 months, and at 13. percentiles for head growth are less important than having a good head growth curve overall.<br>
and lastly, dont worry about the word "delay"--delays are relative. einstein didnt speak until he was four. view any evaluation process as just one more tool available to you as you parent your beautiful ds, Im sure he is wonderful, mama! good luck to you..........<br><br>
-nancy
 

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While the delay doesn't sound too bad, I would still get him checked out and consider seeking care through Early Intervention. My son got EI starting at 14 months old because he could not crawl, walk, sit up well, etc. He also had trouble with swallowing solids and speech delays. The good news is that he caught up! He got great services like physical therapy and OT in our home through EI and he now has had speech therapy for the last few years.<br><br>
As one doctor told us white boys are slower, slower to walk, slower to speak, and have more developmental delays than their female peers or male peers of color. He told us that by age five almost any delays are non existent and they are all caught up. However he still encouraged us to get the physical therapy and speech therapy.
 

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as for speech, yes, on the whole, boys do seem to develop at a slower rate than girls. they also have a much higher incidence of speech & language deficits, so that may skew the curve a bit.<br><br>
I agree that the special needs board will have some good info. Higher tone in one part of the body vs another would be something a PT could address. My dd has low tone & generalized weakness. Her trunk especially, though it's pretty generalized. She walked before she could crawl b/c of the low tone. she received PT for a year & caught up beautifully (she turns 3 this month) She's still a bit behind the curve for things like climbing & other gross motor skills, but she does them when she's ready. we learned great strategies from our PT & still use them a year out of services. (wheelbarrow walking has made a huge difference! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )<br><br>
Early Intervention can be started by *anyone's* referral. I called the hotline & got the ball rolling on my own. my ped wasn't the least bit concerned, but i've worked in special ed for a long time & *knew* i was justified in my concerns. Overall, the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome & the more likely that a baby will "outgrow" the delay. As the pp stated, some delays are outgrown, not all. It's very difficult to predict- it's a one step at a time scenario.<br><br>
He truly may have his own timetable. They do all develop at their own paces. I would look into early intervention to have him evaluated. It's an overall evaluation- fine & gross motor, cognitive, speech, the works.<br><br>
good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

pinklucy said:
I've had to ask myself what is a problem for him and what is a problem for <i>me</i>. His development is not causing him any problems, it was <i>me</i> who started feeling anxious. I guess we imagine that our babies will meet all the milestones on time - perhaps I even imagined that all my attention would make him develop faster. My son is helping me to realise that people learn at their own pace and that his value does not lie in whether he can tick the boxes on a developmental checklist. It sounds to me like you son is a bit behind average but just fine.
<br><br>
Oh, thank you for this. That's such a good question that I need to keep in mind. I've asked myself why do I "care" so much. And by that, I don't mean it in regards to how much I care for him and want to do whatever it takes to help him if he does face challenges, but why do I feel like it reflects on me and him on a superficial level. I had some physical problems throughout my childhood and I think I'm projecting that type of childhood for him. Will people feel sorry for him? Will he be able to keep up with others? Blech. So, again, your question of 'whose problem is it?' is a great one for me to ruminate over.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pinklucy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do understand those days when you worry - I still have them. I find the most helpful thing when i feel that way is to stop reading anything to do with development - i even stop coming to these boards sometimes just so I don't read about developmental milestones! It helps me to just re-connect with my son as the person he is - outsie of any imposed expextations. I realise that he's just fine the way he is - not just fine, but wonderful, and I feel a lot better.</div>
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Yes, this is so true too. I feel like you are very much where I am emotionally. The minute I posted this question on the boards and starting looking up developmental issues (which led me to CP and depressed me for two days), I regretted it, because it made me focus in on it without a break. And you get all of these drastic scenarios. And yet...then you get some supportive emails like this one.<br><br>
Of course this morning, he was rolling and lunging and pushing and trying to crawl. He was pulling over his container of big legos and dropping them this way and that. And he just made me laugh. As you say, he's fine with where he is, so I need to be also.<br><br>
Thank you. And I do want to say that while I do need to relax about his development, because he is just a spectacular kid and my worry tends to distract me from being connected with him (as you say), I will still do what I can to prevent this 'delay' from becoming a problem. We will take him to the neurologist and perhaps to a physical therapist. I don't want to keep him from getting help if he needs it.<br><br>
mskgandn
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nancyw</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi mskgandn,<br><br>
your ds is developing at his own wonderful pace, and your awareness, and lovingness is what he needs most of all.<br>
if, perchance, a "delay" is discovered upon evaluation, and he may need some focused intervention, just take it one step at a time. (sometimes they can figure out why, sometimes never, sometimes grown out of, sometimes not, and you cant know now where he'll be in one year,or three, etc. one step at a time...)</div>
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Thank you for your wisdom and suggestions. Such good advice. We are pursuing an evaluation, but at the same time, as you say, I need to take this one step at a time. I get ahead of myself and worry about what kind of high school experience he will have, etc. Which is ridiculous.<br><br>
Just to reassure you a bit, sitting at 8 months is perfect, children do sometimes skip crawling, and 1st teeth are wildly unpredictable coming both at 4 months, and at 13. percentiles for head growth are less important than having a good head growth curve overall.<br>
and lastly, dont worry about the word "delay"--delays are relative. einstein didnt speak until he was four. view any evaluation process as just one more tool available to you as you parent your beautiful ds, Im sure he is wonderful, mama! good luck to you..........<br><br>
-nancy<br><br>
Thank you, Nancy. I so appreciate your reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's awesome that the PT helped your child to catch up. I don't want to be pollyanna about this, but I really did need to hear some positive stories.<br><br>
Thank you!<br>
mskgandn
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bobica</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">she received PT for a year & caught up beautifully (she turns 3 this month) She's still a bit behind the curve for things like climbing & other gross motor skills, but she does them when she's ready. we learned great strategies from our PT & still use them a year out of services. (wheelbarrow walking has made a huge difference! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )<br><br>
He truly may have his own timetable. They do all develop at their own paces. I would look into early intervention to have him evaluated. It's an overall evaluation- fine & gross motor, cognitive, speech, the works.<br><br>
good luck!!!</div>
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<br>
Okay, I know I'm being redundant thanking each of you for your comments, but it really is helpful to hear personal stories of children with developmental delays, the process of evaluation and therapy, and, I guess that it can be okay with work and attention.<br><br>
And to you, I'm glad your daughter is doing so well. Your story is another I needed to hear. I just need to believe that we can work with him on these issues with different strategies. He's not terribly behind, but I'd like to be proactive.<br><br>
mskgandn
 

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Hi, I'm really glad my post helped you a bit. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I was so struck by the similarities in our boys right down to the having good head control from birth and not having many teeth! My ds still only has 2.<br><br>
Recently I've been feeling that I'm learning some good lessons from my son. I'm a very academic person, I was always top of the class at school and I've always valued intellect very highly. Perhaps too highly. I'm reassessing things in what feels like a very positive way and really learning to relax. I'm currently looking into unschooling and it's making a lot of sense to me. Letting children learn at their own pace but always being there to facilitate their learning.<br><br>
I'm certainly erring on the side of letting my son develop at his own pace. I feel a little uncomfortable with intervention happening as early as babyhood. I think it's much more common in the States. It feels as if we are already not trusting our babies to learn what is right for them. I feel confident that I provide an environment which is conducive for my son to thrive in, so I'm going to trust him that he's just doing what is right for him.<br><br>
I really hope you'll be able to enjoy your son just the way he is. I went through an awful time when I just couldn't stop worrying and I always seemed to be looking at him with a critical gaze which was so sad. I feel so much better now I'm learning to go with the flow a little more. I try to take a common sense approach - if I had no access to developmental charts what would I see? I'd see a delightful curious baby, affectionate, quietly assertive, entertaining with a calm generally content nature. I certainly wouldn't see anything to worry about. I bet you'd see something very similar. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm learning to relax where my son's development is involved. It's interesting that you say your baby has a calm nature. My son is very much the same. I do think the development is linked to personality. I think out babies are content to sit and observe and take life at a slower pace and I'm learning to realise that that's just fine.<br><br>
I've had to ask myself what is a problem for him and what is a problem for me. His development is not causing him any problems, it was me who started feeling anxious. I guess we imagine that our babies will meet all the milestones on time - perhaps I even imagined that all my attention would make him develop faster. My son is helping me to realise that people learn at their own pace and that his value does not lie in whether he can tick the boxes on a developmental checklist. It sounds to me like you son is a bit behind average but just fine.<br><br>
I do understand those days when you worry - I still have them. I find the most helpful thing when i feel that way is to stop reading anything to do with development - i even stop coming to these boards sometimes just so I don't read about developmental milestones! It helps me to just re-connect with my son as the person he is - outsie of any imposed expextations. I realise that he's just fine the way he is - not just fine, but wonderful, and I feel a lot better.</td>
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I can relate to this so much. My dd1 just turned 4, and she has always been on the late side of everything. She sat up at 8 months, crawled at 10, walked at 15...etc. She did everything later, all her gross motor skills, fine motor skills seemed to be behind that of her peers. I used to get depressed going to playgroup, since I would see kids who were 6 months younger then her, and more advanced. The main thing are were concerned about was her language/speech. When she turned two, she still only said a few words, at age 3, she had a large vocabulary but wasn't speaking in sentences yet. Now, at age 4, she is basically at the same level as her peers as far as language goes. She really did catch up, in her own time. We never had her evaluated and never got intervention for her. Although she talks as well as other children do, she still doesn't talk as much. She is just a quieter person (dh and I are both really quiet), and will probably never be a chatterbox. I do think A LOT of it is personality .<br><br>
We went back and forth with getting her evaluated, but in the end decided against it...mainly because we saw her hitting all the milestones..just a little later than other children. My instinct told me that she would be fine, she may reach those milestones later, but she would reach them. And, she did.<br>
Now, in some ways she is more advanced than other children, in her reading readiness skills and math skills.<br><br>
I also think another factor can be size. DD1 is HUGE, she has always been a fast grower. She just turned 4, but is easily the size of a 6-year old. I think when they put so much energy into growing..they may put less into developing.<br><br>
One last thing, she did take dd1 off gluten/caesin and notcied an improvment in her language and behavior. I think she probably *could* have been diagnosed as borderline autistic..however, we have seen a huge improvment in her after making her gf/cf that we decided to not pursue getting a diagnosis as she no longer had the symtoms anymore, and we didn't want to take her off it, have her regress just to get a diagnosis.
 

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I find your approach refreshing ameliabedelia. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The size issue certainly isn't a factor with my son as he's very tiny so that energy isn't going into growing where he's concerned.<br><br>
A friend of mine had a daughter who did have quite serious developmental delays, she couldn't bear weight or support her head at a year and didn't walk until 2 and a half. She does have an undiagnosed condition but she is now a lively, chatty, giggly, fascinating 9 year old.<br><br>
One of her twins was behind average developmentally, she didn't crawl until 14 months and just walked at 17 months, her speech was way behind her twin brother's. Her Mum wasn't worried though. She said there is a huge difference between a baby who is just a bit behind but still meeting milestones and a baby who actually has developmental delay. Surely enough she's catching up in leaps and bounds and is now becoming more advanced than her brother in some areas despite him starting months before. I really think that babies have their own timescales to work to.
 
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