It is important to monitor your child as she grows. From the day a baby is born to 7 years of age, she grows and develops rapidly. Her brain is like a sponge, constantly absorbing sounds, smells, and feel of things around her. She may not be much conscious of her surroundings in the first month of her life, but after that, she grasps everything rapidly.
Not all children develop at the same rate. However, doctors have fixed certain parameters after studying children. They tell you the average time your toddler should start doing various things like smiling, blabbing, gurgling, crawling, standing, walking, talking, and so on. You must know these parameters and then keep a tab on your child’s rate of development. In case you notice that your child is not meeting the parameters, you can discuss this with your doctor or pediatrician.
Importance of developmental monitoring
Your child is rapidly growing and changing with each passing month. However, you may not know whether this is her normal rate of development, faster, or slower. Your child could be a genius or a slow learner. She may be average or may show some problems.
How will you know this?
By monitoring your child’s movements, behavior, and learning.
Pediatricians recommend that children should be screened for their development with the help of validated and standardized tools at the ages of 9 months, 18 months, 24 months, and 30 months.
A child should be monitored for autism at ages 18 months and 24 months. Also, if you notice something wrong with your child, you must immediately contact your doctor. Say, she may not respond to your affection even at 3 months. Usually, babies start doing so. They begin smiling at 2 months. Lack of response, too much crying, not being able to follow moving things with eyes at 4 months, not rolling over tummy even after 5 months, not bringing their hands to the mouth or holding toys by 4 months are a few examples of signs that you must consult a doctor without delay.
Examples of developmental disabilities in children
Autism, loss of hearing, cerebral palsy, fragile X syndrome, attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, muscular dystrophy, language and speech disorders, vision impairment, and more. When you visit the pediatrician for concern, the doctor may ask you in detail about your child’s development. Then, he or she may play or talk with your child to see how she is responding. Doctors carry out a developmental screening to find out the real problem.
Children who are at a higher risk to develop problems due to low birth weight, preterm birth, or environmental risks such as lead exposure and others, may need additional screening. If a child harbors an existing health problem or has been diagnosed with some condition, parents and doctors should constantly monitor the child. She should be screened in all developmental areas.
In this case, you and your doctor can form a team and help your child grow and develop. Along with this, proper family support is vital.