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What are signs of social or emotional developmental delays in children?

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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:

By 7 months, contact the doctor if your child:

By 1 year, contact the doctor if your child:

  • Does not smile at people
  • Does not pay attention to new faces, or seems frightened by them
  • Refuses to cuddle
  • Shows no affection for parents or caregivers
  • Shows no enjoyment around people
  • Cannot be comforted at night (after 5 months)
  • Does not smile without prompting (by 5 months)
  • Does not laugh or squeal (by 6 months)
  • Shows no interest in games of peek-a-boo (by 8 months)
  • Shows no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or facial expressions (at 9 months)
  • Shows no back-and-forth gestures, such as waving, reaching, or pointing

SOURCES:

CDC: "Developmental Screening" and "Important Milestones."

Shevell, M. et al. , March 16, 2007; vol 60: pp 367–380. Neurology

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare: "Identifying Patterns of Developmental Delays Can Help Diagnose Neurodevelopmental Disorders."

WebMD Feature: "Is Your Baby on Track?"

Nemours Foundation: "Delayed Speech or Language Development" and "Your Child’s Vision."

First Signs: "Red Flags."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): "NINDS Pervasive Developmental Disorders Information Page."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Sensory Integration Therapies for Children With Developmental and Behavioral Disorders."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on December 14, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC: "Developmental Screening" and "Important Milestones."

Shevell, M. et al. , March 16, 2007; vol 60: pp 367–380. Neurology

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare: "Identifying Patterns of Developmental Delays Can Help Diagnose Neurodevelopmental Disorders."

WebMD Feature: "Is Your Baby on Track?"

Nemours Foundation: "Delayed Speech or Language Development" and "Your Child’s Vision."

First Signs: "Red Flags."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): "NINDS Pervasive Developmental Disorders Information Page."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Sensory Integration Therapies for Children With Developmental and Behavioral Disorders."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on December 14, 2018

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What can cause cognitive developmental delays in children?

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