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    Recognizing Developmental Delays in Children

    Vision Developmental Delays in Children continued...

    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.

    Possible causes of motor skill delays. Children who are born prematurely may not develop muscles at the same rate as other children.

    Other possible causes of motor delays include:

    • ataxia, a defect that impairs muscle coordination
    • cerebral palsy, a condition caused by brain damage before birth
    • cognitive delays
    • myopathy, a disease of the muscles
    • problems with vision
    • spina bifida, a genetic condition causing partial or total paralysis of the lower part of the body

    Types of treatment for motor skill delays. Your child's doctor may suggest taking certain steps at home to encourage more physical activity. Your child may also need physical therapy for gross motor delays. Certain types of physical or occupational therapy may help with fine motor problems or sensory integration dysfunction.

    Warning signs of motor skill 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 reach for, grasp, or hold objects
    • does not support his or her head well
    • does not bring objects to his or her mouth (by 4 months)
    • does not push down with legs when his or her feet are placed on a firm surface (by 4 months)

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