Developmental Problems

Children aged 0-18 can have developmental problems and our specializedpediatric physical medicine & rehabilitation specialists can help to treat these problems.

The common developmental problems that Stroke & Diabetes Center treat are

  • Gait Problems
  • Sensory Processing Problems
  • Bone Joint and Muscular Problems
  • Respiratory Problems
  • DELAYED MILESTONES

    Milestones are the predicted points for when a child reaches a significant stage in their development such as walking or talking. A delayed milestone is when a child has not reached a significant stage at the predicted age

What causes delayed milestones in children?

There can be many different causes of delayed milestones such as genetic problems, problems during pregnancy or birth, and problems during early infancy or childhood such as infection or head injury. Often there is no identifiable cause.

What are the symptoms of delayed milestones in children?
There are no symptoms but there are signs to look out for such as:

    • Cannot focus on an activity
    • Avoids eye contact
    • Has limp body posture
    • Holds head unusually
    • Talks very loudly or very softly

What can physical therapy do to help children with delayed milestones?
Physical therapy treatment aims to promote a child’s independence and ability to reach physical milestones. Treatment will be specific to a child’s needs, age and abilities and our team of specialist physiotherapists will often use fun games and activities to help promote normal development. We liaise closely with parents, caregivers and teachers to help them understand the child’s needs and how they can help promote future independence.

What are the symptoms of delayed milestones in children?

There are no symptoms but there are signs to look out for such as:

  • Cannot focus on an activity
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Has limp body posture
  • Holds head unusually
  • Talks very loudly or very softlyWhat can physical therapy do to help children with delayed milestones?
    Physical therapy treatment aims to promote a child’s independence and ability to reach physical milestones. Treatment will be specific to a child’s needs, age and abilities and our team of specialist physiotherapists will often use fun games and activities to help promote normal development. We liaise closely with parents, caregivers and teachers to help them understand the child’s needs and how they can help promote future independence.The benefits of physical therapy are:

    • Achievement of physical milestones such as sitting, crawling and standing
    • Improved independence in activities of daily living
    • Improved posture, muscle strength, balance and coordination
    • Improved confidenceLate walking is when a child has not reached the walking milestone of development at the expected age. This will slow the development and the independence of the child and so it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
What causes late walking in children?

Late walking can be caused by motor problems which specifically affect walking. It can also occur as a result of conditions which affect overall development, including walking. Some of these conditions include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Down’s syndrome.

What are the symptoms of late walking in children?

The main symptom is that the child is behind in walking development. The following timeline shows the general stages of walking development:

  • 10 months – standing with support
  • 12 months – standing independently and walking with support
  • 15 months – walking independently
  • 18 months – running
    The above is a general guide only. Some children will naturally develop late with no underlying cause.

    What can physical therapy do to help children with late walking problems?

    Physical therapy treatment will consist of exercises and activities to encourage walking. They will be aimed at strengthening the legs, promoting balance and building the confidence of the child to stand and walk.
    If physical therapy treatment has been used and there is nothing more to help, our specialized physiotherapists are happy to refer the child on to a specialist.

Summary

Late walking can cause problems with further development and prevent a child becoming independent. Physical therapy can help a child to walk.

CO-ORDINATION PROBLEMS

Co-ordination problems are when a child has difficulty in performing motor skills tasks. In most cases fine movements are difficult such as using the hand for writing; however some large movements can be difficult as well such as walking. This can have an effect on the development of the child and make everyday life and activities very difficult.

What causes co-ordination problems in children?

There is often no identifiable cause for co-ordination problems but they can happen as a result of other conditions such as learning difficulties or behavioral disorders.

What are the symptoms of co-ordination problems in children?
Some of the main signs to look for are:
  • Clumsiness
  • Tripping
  • Dropping objects
  • Trouble with handling objects
    What can physical therapy do to help children with co-ordination problems?

    Physical therapy treatment will mainly consist of movement exercises and practice to improve motor skills. Treatment will be very functionally based so that improvements can be made in everyday activities that are difficult for the child. There will also be advice on long term management of the problem so that it improves everyday life and development for the child and promotes independence.

    Summary

    Co-ordination problems can make everyday life very difficult for children and their development and independence can be greatly affected. Physical therapy can help to improve co-ordination problems.

    CLUMSINESS

    Clumsiness is when a child has poor co-ordination and may have difficulty carrying out tasks that involve fine motor skills such as handling small objects. They may also experience difficulty with gross motor skills such as walking. This can greatly reduce the independence of the child.

What causes clumsiness in children?

There is often no identifiable cause for clumsiness problems but they can happen as a result of other conditions such as learning difficulties or behavioral disorders.
What are the symptoms of clumsiness in children?
Some of the main signs to look for are:

  • Difficulty handling objects
  • Dropping objects
  • Tripping
  • Frustration at not being able to achieve tasks
    What can physical therapy do to help children with clumsiness?

    Physical therapy treatment will mainly consist of movement exercises and practice to improve motor skills. Treatment will be very functionally based so that improvements can be made in everyday activities that are difficult for the child. There will also be advice on long term management of the problem so that it improves everyday life and development for the child and promotes independence.

    Summary

    Clumsinesscan make everyday life very difficult for children and their development and independence can be greatly affected. Physical therapy can help to improve clumsiness.

    POOR HANDWRITING

    Handwriting problems are linked to co-ordination problems and are a result of decreased fine motor skills. The child will find it difficult to use and control their hands and fingers for small movements. This makes handwriting difficult due to the control that is needed over a pencil/pen to write. This can have an effect on the child’s learning development at school.

What causes handwriting problems in children?
Handwriting problems can be caused by poor motor function in the hands. It can also be a result of general co-ordination problems, so handwriting may not be the only problem. These co-ordination problems can be a result of neurological conditions such as learning difficulties or behavioral disorders.

What are the symptoms of handwriting problems in children?
Some of the main signs to look for are:

  • Difficulty gripping the pencil/pen
  • Lack of control over the pencil/pen
  • Frustration at lack of progressWhat can physical therapy do to help children with handwriting problems?
    Physical therapy treatment will mainly consist of exercises and activities to improve fine motor skills and co-ordination. They will also be aimed at improving dexterity and flexibility. If further co-ordination problems are found then these will also be treated, however if there are problems that physical therapy cannot improve then our physical therapist will be happy to refer your child to another specialists based on the needs.

    Summary

    Handwriting problems can be a result of poor fine motor skills or general co-ordination problems. This can have an effect on the child’s learning development at school. Physical therapy can help to improve handwriting problems.