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Recognizing Developmental Delays in Children

Language and Speech Developmental Delays in Children continued...

Warning signs of speech or language delays. Contact your child's doctor if your child has any of the following signs at the age that's indicated. In addition, watch for any loss of skills that have already been learned.

By 3 to 4 months, contact the doctor if your child:

  • does not respond to loud noises
  • does not babble
  • begins babbling but does not try to imitate sounds (by 4 months)

By 7 months, contact the doctor if your child:

  • does not respond to sounds

By 1 year, contact the doctor if your child:

  • does not use any single words (like "mama")

By 2 years, contact the doctor if your child:

  • cannot speak at least 15 words
  • does not use two-word phrases without repetition; can only imitate speech
  • does not use speech to communicate more than immediate needs

 

Vision Developmental Delays in Children

Until 6 months, a newborn's vision is normally blurry. Then it improves as the child begins to coordinate sight in both eyes. However, sometimes this does not happen or other vision problems show up.

Possible causes of vision delays. Refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, are common in children. Other eye problems include:

  • amblyopia (lazy eye), poor vision in one eye that may also appear to turn outward
  • infantile cataracts -- a clouding of the eye's lens -- or another inherited problem (these problems are rare)
  • retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease that sometimes affects premature infants
  • strabismus -- also called cross eyes -- eyes that turn in, out, up, or down

Types of treatment for vision delays. Early treatment can help correct many vision problems. Depending on the eye problem your child has, he or she may need: 

  • glasses or contact lenses
  • special glasses
  • surgery
  • an eye patch

Warning signs of vision problems. Contact your child's doctor if your child has any of the following signs at the age that’s indicated. In addition, watch for any loss of skills that have already been learned.

By 3 months, contact the doctor if your child:

  • does not follow moving objects with his or her eyes
  • does not notice hands (by 2 months)
  • has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions
  • crosses eyes most of the time

By 6 months, contact the doctor if your child:

  • has one or both eyes turning in or out all the time
  • experiences constant tearing or eye drainage
  • does not follow near objects (1 foot away) or far objects (6 feet away) with both eyes

If your child's doctor notes any problems, the doctor may refer your child to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation.

Motor Skill Developmental Delays in Children

Developmental delays may be related to problems with gross motor skills, such as crawling or walking, or fine motor skills, such as using fingers to grasp a spoon.

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