Do children ever run before they leave

Main content

From infant to adult

A multitude of small developmental steps in different areas are necessary until the dependent infant can become an adult, independent person.

Every child develops according to a natural and universal scheme.

So there is such a thing as nature's schedule. The order of the individual development steps is precisely defined because they are mostly based on one another. For example, it is not possible for a child to learn to walk first and then to sit later.

The speed with which the individual development steps can follow one another can be very different in the individual development areas. Some children learn movement sequences very quickly, they run early, climb everywhere and are very skillful with their hands, others are not quite as athletic and rather clumsy and prefer to use their energy to expand their language skills.

Every child has its own pace in every area of ​​development and, within certain limits, differences in the level of development between children of the same age are completely normal.

On the other hand, from studies we also know limit values ​​as to when children should have reached individual developmental steps at the latest. If this is not the case, one speaks of a development delay.

What are developmental delays?

Development can be divided into five different functional areas:

  • Motor development. It includes all motion sequences.
  • Mental development involves understanding contexts, the ability to remember things, and all thinking.
  • The development of language. It contains two aspects - understanding language and speaking yourself.
  • The emotional development describes the development of the emotional life. While the infant can only express a few feelings, the child learns in the course of development to perceive many levels and to classify them correctly.
  • In their social development, children learn the rules of dealing with other people.

Pediatricians and developmental psychologists have collected values ​​based on observations from all areas of child development in order to be able to make statements about the age at which children should be able to master individual skills at the latest. Thus, a framework could be established in which individual development steps normally take place.

In this way, however, statements can also be made about when there is a delay in development and when special funding is necessary.

Some children only have delays in one area, while others have delays in several areas.

Depending on how far a child is from the average level of development compared to children of the same age, one speaks of mild to severe developmental delays.

Why is my child developmentally retarded?

Whether development can take place and how quickly it happens is determined by three basic things.

  • Inherited and congenital prerequisites are the basis of the ability to develop. A child with congenital deafness, for example, is so severely impaired in his speech development that it cannot proceed within the usual framework.
  • Another prerequisite are certain biological maturation processes that are necessary so that the following stage of development can be achieved. A child, for example, cannot gain control of its excretory organs before a certain age, because the biological maturity does not allow it to do so.
  • However, the third and most important building block of human development is learning. Children learn most skills through repetition and practice, imitation and guidance from their caregivers.

Hereditary developmental delays

Developmental delays can therefore be hereditary, have their causes in delayed biological maturation or in insufficient learning opportunities and stimuli. Several different factors often come together.

  • In some cases, genetic causes can be determined, such as certain metabolic diseases or genetic defects.
  • Damage during pregnancy due to infections, medication or other harmful substances is also often suspected.
  • Even during childbirth, complications can result in a lack of oxygen and consequently damage to the brain.
  • Environmental influences play a part in the occurrence of development delays that should not be underestimated. Too little stimulation from the social environment or too little emotional and social affection can contribute significantly to the occurrence of developmental delays.
  • What exactly are the reasons for the developmental delays in your child can usually only be determined on the basis of extensive medical examinations.

Who can tell if my child is developmentally retarded?

The early detection examinations also serve to identify developmental delays.

If you notice significant delays in one or more areas of development in your child or if you are not sure what exactly your child should be able to do, you should first talk to your pediatrician about your observations.

If there are indications that should be taken seriously, it must first be checked how far behind your child is in the individual development areas compared to their peers and what the reasons for this could be.

If necessary, your pediatrician will refer you to other specialists such as specialists, curative pedagogues and psychologists for further clarification.

Can Developmental Delays Be Treated?

If there are physical causes of the delay in development, the causes will be treated first, if possible.

If no recognizable physical causes are found or if an effective treatment of the causes is not possible, there is often only one form of treatment left in which the poorly trained skills are trained through exercises.

Many affected children can make tremendous progress through training and exercise treatments.

Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, curative education and psychology deal with the treatment and therapy of children with developmental retardation.

Which therapy is best for your child depends primarily on their individual difficulties.

Comprehensive counseling and therapy offers are also provided by so-called early support facilities. In addition, there are special kindergartens and day-care centers that can integrate appropriate support programs into the daily routine.

It is best to talk to your pediatrician or the specialists who diagnosed the developmental delay about sensible therapeutic approaches and suitable therapeutic specialists in your area.

How can I help my child?

If you notice indications of developmental delays in your child, you should seek professional support as soon as possible, as a wait-and-see attitude only increases existing deficits.

If your child is already being treated, you should be aware that therapeutic treatment will be successful much faster if your child is given the opportunity to practice newly learned skills at home as often as possible. This usually requires your support.

But practicing does not only mean doing certain physiotherapy exercises, doing worksheets or doing speaking exercises.

So that your child also has fun practicing, there are many types of games or handicrafts on offer. The therapist treating you can certainly give you valuable information about which games and exercises are suitable for your child.

If the whole family is involved, it is especially fun and your child practices without perceiving it as an effort.

There are also many possibilities - incidentally - to integrate remedial exercises for your child in everyday life.

If your child has delays in the area of ​​language development, it is particularly important to talk to him a lot - preferably about the things in which your child is particularly interested.

In your daily dealings with your child, it is important to convey to them that they will be loved and recognized by you regardless of their limitations.

Your child is sure to have talents and special abilities in the fields of sport, music or society. Successful experiences in an area that your child enjoys and in which they perform well are particularly important for your child.

So give him the opportunity to discover his skills and give him much-needed recognition for his accomplishments.

We recommend these topics for further reading:

Further information

Parents letters

You can find this topic in the letters from parents ...