Developmental delay is a situation in which toddlers do not attain the desirable level of physical and mental development, as per their age. Holistic development among children might get delayed due to certain medical conditions or unknown reasons. Children, whose health development gets stalled, may be treated through rehabilitation processes so that they can catch up with the others of their age and gain confidence to move on with their regular activities.
Categories of Developmental Delays among Children:
– Speech Delay
– Eating and Swallowing Disorders
– Developmental disorders: Orthopaedic Conditions, Neurological Conditions, Movement Disorders
There are some developmental delays that are mild and some that are more serious. However, all of these categories can be treated through effective communication with the patients and their parents, along with following the correct processes in rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation Processes for Treating Children with Developmental Delays:
- Speech and Language Therapy: This therapy treats children facing difficulty in speaking, communicating ideas, understanding concepts, and putting words together to form sentences. The specific health areas that this therapeutic process deals with are autism, birth defects, cognitive delays, excessive drooling, swallowing disorders, weak oral muscles, hearing impairments, and effects of traumatic brain injuries. Therapy includes speech training, reading and writing exercises, and food intake lessons. Children who get involved in rehabilitative care before five years of age achieve better results, although getting enrolled at any age provides positive results.
- Physical Therapy: This is aimed at improving the child’s strength and mobility through regular exercises using specially designed equipments. Physical therapy is effective in treating congenital defects, movement impairment, and sports-related injuries that halt normal biological development.
- Occupational Therapy: This therapy is aimed at training children to attain basic competence. Expert therapists counsel the child to measure their level of development. A therapeutic programme is processed after the initial assessment, to meet the requirements of the patient. This therapy helps children gradually develop their essential motor skills to exercise sensory actions. Training processes include writing, easy self-feeding and self-grooming, and practising hand-eye coordination.
Follow-up visits to the therapists on a regular basis are vital to maintain a steady pace of progress in the rehabilitation programme. Progress reports are then sent to the paediatrician for further review of the patient’s condition, on which the next stages of treatment are decided.
Rehabilitation programmes consisting of exercises and counselling, which are carried out timely, have positive effects on the physical and mental health conditions of growing children.