11 Signs that a Child May Have Developmental Delays

We have been discussing developmental and temperamental differences in children.  As we have described in detail various ways that children are different, we must also acknowledge that every child is unique. For example, siblings can differ widely in temperament, growth, emotional development and other ways, including the rate at which they develop.

The rate at which children develop

toddler girl with pen
Some children may have developmental delays and may require attention to identify the cause of concern.

Some children may have developmental delays and may require attention to identify the cause of concern. While many of these developmental differences self-correct naturally over time, caregivers should monitor a child’s development and seek assessment and consultation in certain situations such as when the child:

  • Is significantly delayed in all areas of development
  • Has few words or no words by age 2
  • Has atypical muscle tone (floppy or rigid)
  • Is not walking by 18 months
  • Shows lack of responsiveness to others, to his/her name, or exhibits repetitive or obsessive behavior
  • Is extremely active, has difficulty attending to instruction, and/or has trouble concentrating on an activity
  • Shows significant delays in any of the major areas of development by age 2
  • Is excessively aggressive and/or noncompliant
  • Has significant difficulty relating to other children
  • Development or behavior regresses significantly for no obvious reason, and child is unable to recover from the regression
  • Is withdrawn, anxious or fearful, particularly with other children

If a caregiver notices any of these delays or behaviors, they should consult a physician or a children’s mental health professional. It may also be recommended that the child receive a developmental assessment that should be carried out by a qualified psychologist, developmental pediatrician, or a multidisciplinary team of specialists. 

It will be a great advantage for a caregiver to be aware of developmental delays in order to better understand and help children who are struggling with growth and development. In so doing, we will have the opportunity to provide help that ensures healthy growth and development.  

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network  

Source: Information taken from Pathways to Competence, Encouraging Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children, Second Edition by Sarah Landy, pp 56-57.


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