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Understanding Milestones and Delays

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It’s amazing how a once helpless and totally dependent infant can over time become a skilled and independent individual. Every adult including you has passed through some developmental stages i.e infancy, childhood and adolescence. Through these stages, you have acquired skills and built capacity to function and respond efficiently to the demands of everyday life. However, some individuals are not capable of this due to some gaps in infancy and childhood.

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Child development is the pattern of change that occurs between birth and the end of adolescence. It is a multidimensional concept that encompasses physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional aspects. Children develop through different stages in a relatively predictable time and pattern known as developmental milestones. Developmental processes in childhood are very critical and have a huge impact on a child’s capability later in life.  When children experience a significant lag in attaining age expected developmental milestones, it is called a developmental delay. Simply put, developmental delays occur when a child does not reach specific developmental milestones for his or her age. For example, if the normal age range for a child to begin walking is between 9-18 months and a 24 month old child is not able to walk, it can be considered as a motor developmental delay.

Two factors play major roles in child development. These are:

  • Heredity: A child can be born with a chromosomal abnormality if such is present in the genes of either or both parents. These abnormalities cause developmental delays.
  • Environment: Environmental influence occurs in cases of exposure to harmful agents during pregnancy and/or after birth thus causing delays in the child’s development.

InteractionBelow are some warning signs of a developmental delay at different stages of childhood.

INFANCY (0-12 months) : Most children start to speak their first words by 18 months of age and by age 3, most of them can make short sentences. However, if a child is unable to speak words or make short sentences by age 3, this is considered as a language developmental delay.

TODDLERHOOD (1-3 years): Children at 12 – 30 months are usually adventurous and playful as a result of their increased energy and curiosity but when children at this age exhibit the opposite, it may indicate a developmental lag.

PRESCHOOL (3-5 years): Preschoolers are usually calmer and less dependent than toddlers. They are learning to become more independent, imaginative and creative. However, if the opposite is displayed by a child within this age range, it may be a sign of developmental delay.

SCHOOL AGE (6-12 years): At this stage, a child is expected to be able to solve basic problems, distinguish between right and wrong thereby making somewhat independent decisions. However, a child that does not exhibit this competence might be experiencing a developmental delay.

It is expedient that parents monitor their child’s development and seek help when they notice some of these signs so as to enable the child undergo a thorough professional evaluation in order to ascertain the presence of a developmental delay and proffer necessary interventions.

Don’t delay when a developmental delay is noticed in your child or any child you know. Early interventions go a long way in alleviating the effects of developmental delays.

Kindly visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org for more information.

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more informative updates on child development.

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You can also download our e-books on Child development by clicking HERE

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It All Starts With You

It is still early in the New Year and yet most people are probably already struggling with their New Year resolutions. A number of people have given up on the idea altogether as each year they see themselves failing to attain the heights or landmarks they’d set for themselves. The first and most important thing is NEVER QUIT. We all struggle with our resolutions mainly because we fail to realize the vital first step to take, which is self-focus. In order to improve, one must reflect deeply on one’s self and ask questions like “what have I been doing wrong”, “what can I do better” and “what am I doing today that takes me closer to who I want to be tomorrow?” It is certain that the more you ask yourself these reflective questions the more you shall realize that IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU.

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Here are some things you will discover that will not only help you live up to your New Year resolutions but will ultimately improve you:

1. Negative behavioural patterns: As you reflect on yourself, you will begin to realize the harmful behavioural patterns 052713bucks-carl-sketch-blog480which continually hinder you each day from improving yourself. The Are-you-happy- bad habits you’ve hung on to for years, your approach to work and not getting enough or too much rest. Focus on the causes and effects of your present predominant behaviours. A diary or a jotter could be a very helpful way to keep track. Find out the harmful behavioural patterns that are taking you nowhere and immediately instigate a significant change in your daily routine. This leads us to the next point…

invest-in-you2. Self-investment: You will realize that a major hindrance in achieving ones goals is lack of self-confidence which corresponds to a lack of self-investment. You must invest in yourself; it is the only way you can improve yourself. Either you do so by starting frequent exercise, buying more books and reading widely or learn a new language. Each day, you must do something for yourself that would make you feel better and be better. Spare no expenses in self-investment in order to create the YOU and you will love. The more you invest in yourself, the more confident you will be and the more able you will be to achieve your resolutions.

You will also increase your…

  1. Personal Value: This is the aspect of yourself that no one else but you can touch, increase or decrease. You needvalue-1 to realize that no matter how many times you have failed, you never lose your value. Focus on the things about you that you can improve and forget about the things you can’t. Incessantly focusing on things we can’t change causes us to be insecure and underrate our own value. Accept who you are and then go on to improve your value by letting go of anything holding you back. Think of how you can increase your value in order to benefit others and not just yourself and you will not only value yourself but others would value you.


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Possessed, Insane or SPECIAL?

Special childrenIn those days and maybe even now, the uneducated or superstitious would say  they are demon possessed,  others refer to them as witches,  the “educated” but uninformed may refer to them as abnormal, or maybe disabled or mentally retarded, but we call them SPECIAL.. and they are Special

Yes Special!

These children are indeed special. Beyond the difficulties they and their caretakers or parents face, these children are a true source of joy to the heart. They make you smile, they make you laugh, they make you cry and they make your wonder how great God is. black child An expectation of birth comes with gladness that is immediately dwindled with the sudden realization that the child carried for 9 months may have a developmental disorder that would affect his/her quality of life.  Some of these disorders such as Down Syndrome which is caused by an abnormality in the genes may be detected at birth while some others cannot be detected prior to birth.

downDevelopmental disabilities are a group of physical or mental conditions that children may present with as a result of an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. They have a low to average Intelligent Quotients (IQ)  and may have difficulties in social and communicative behavior. Learning and teaching proves a herculean task for the children and teachers respectively.These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning and may improve as the child grows older but usually last throughout a lifetime. Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth because of injury, infection, or birth complications, trauma to the brain etc. Early detection and intervention play key roles in helping children with developmental disorders. Usually a delay in speech, motor and physical development may indicate the presence of such disorders. Parents and Teachers need to consult professionals in the field of special education should they observe a delay or disturbing behaviour or symptom.

You may ask how does this concern me. You probably feel you have other problems to deal with. Whether or not you are directly involved with children with developmental disabilities, you have a role to play.

Firstly, these children are often stigmatized and labelled by society because they are considered different from the norm.  They are excluded from mainstream education, holding a job is even more difficult and people believe that they have no potential. Parents may also be frustrated and may not give the necessary care, love and encouragement the children need. Every member of the society needs to learn to accept their differences as unique qualities, after all we are all different people, even twins have observed differences. This is a call to accept and embrace children with developmental disorders as Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, Learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and other disorders.

Secondly, people are not aware that these disabilities are genetically caused. Like the title suggests, some people feel they are demon possessed or witches and that’s why you need to help in spreading the word.

Did you know that Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon had Autism?

They have great and unique potentials

Only look beyond their disabilities.   kids-smiling Be a VOICE to Children with Special Needs.

They need YOU.

They need ME.

They need LOVE.

Be  their VOICE.

Happy Global Autism Awareness Day.

Always remember, they are Special Children!

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