Impairment in muscles that control parts of the body can cause gross motor delay. This can include leg, neck, and arm muscles. You may notice this type of delay with your child if he or she skips or is late meeting an important developmental milestone.
If you suspect your child has missed a gross motor delay, it is important to notify your doctor. Your doctor has the tools and skills to identify and diagnose the problem. Be mindful, though, that not all delays mean that something is wrong.
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When You Should See a Doctor for a Possible Gross Motor Delay
Although there are milestone benchmarks for a developing child, these are just guidelines. Every child may develop differently. Some may reach milestones early, while others may experience delays. Sometimes, a child may skip milestones altogether. Staying on top of your child’s development is wise, but you do not have to be overly cautious. Always speak to your child’s pediatrician first if you think there is a problem.
There are warning signs that it may be time to see a doctor if your child has not made any progress in a gross motor development stage. These issues can commonly occur from the time your child is born until he or she reaches 3 years old. Red flags to watch out for that may indicate a gross motor developmental issue may include:
- Inability to sit without support by 6 months of age.
- Inability to sit up from lying down by age 1.
- Restrictions with head movements.
- Inability to roll over.
- Walking on tippy toes.
- Inability to walk without assistance by age 2.
- Difficulty climbing stairs or up and down on the furniture.
- Difficulty running by age 3.
- Frequently falling around age 3.
- Trouble balancing.
- Favoring one side of the body, including the leg, hand, or arm.
It can be difficult to determine if there is an underlying problem or if these are just temporary habits or phases. That is why it is important to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Your doctor has tools and resources to diagnose and monitor your child’s condition. A pediatrician may even recommend that your child see a specialist.
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Treating Gross Motor Development Delays
There are a variety of different treatments available to help your child with gross motor delays. Once your pediatrician has diagnosed a condition, you can begin working on a treatment or management plan.
The key to treating gross motor developmental delays in your child is identifying it early and getting the help they need as soon as possible. A child’s body is more resilient to change while at a young age—specifically under the age of three. If you are able to get help before then, your child may have a better chance of recovering from their complications or slowing the progression.
Physical therapy is a common treatment plan for children who have gross motor developmental delays. A therapist can use special exercises or movement techniques to influence gross motor skills. In more complicated cases, biofeedback may help. You may also receive tips, tricks, and at-home exercises that can help your child’s gross motor delays.
Sometimes surgery and medication are suggested as well. Surgery is usually an option for severe cases where there is physical damage to a muscle or nerve that is causing a gross motor problem. This can include when a muscle becomes ripped, severed, or pinched.
Complications Associated With Gross Motor Delay
Gross motor delays can create issues with your child’s development. At first, a child may experience physical delays, but these can develop into disabilities if left without treatment. This can then lead to further delays in social, psychological, and behavioral development.
Complications that can arise from gross motor disabilities include:
- Low self-esteem.
- Anger issues.
- Social deficits.
- Chronic pain.
- Sleep disorders.
- Mood disorders.
Additional complications can present themselves at different stages of a child’s life. This can include early childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, which means treatment and management may become a lifelong endeavor.
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When Gross Motor Delays Occur From a Birth Injury
A birth injury may be the root cause of a gross motor delay in your child. This can happen during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or in the postnatal period. Sometimes birth injuries are unavoidable, but other times they are preventable.
If your child suffered a birth injury because your doctor or medical staff breached their standard duty of care, you may qualify for compensation. You can have a lawyer review your case to determine your eligibility. Schedule your free consultation now at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group by calling (800) 222-9529.