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What are the signs of developmental delay in children?

Developmental delays can occur in various areas of a child's development including cognitive, language, motor, social and emotional and adaptive skills.

Early identification and intervention can help to address developmental delays and support a child's overall development.

Speech and Language delays

  • lack of babbling or limited use of sounds by 9 months old

  • No words or limited vocabulary by age 18 months

  • Difficulty following simple instructions or understanding basic concepts

  • Inability to form sentences or engage in age appropriate conversations

Cognitive Delays

  • Limited problem solving skills or difficulty with simple puzzles

  • Difficulty understanding cause and effect relationships

  • Have challenges with memory or attention span compared to peers

Social and Emotional Delays

  • Lack of interest in social interactions or play with others

  • Difficulty making eye contact or responding to their name

  • Limited range of emotions or inappropriate responses

Adaptive Delays

  • Trouble performing age-appropriate self care tasks (feeding/dressing)

  • Difficulty with basic routines and transitions

  • Lack of independence in age appropriate activities

Motor Delays

  • Delayed crawling, sitting up or walking

  • Poor coordination or difficulty with fine motor skills (holding a spoon/tying shoe laces)

  • Inability to stack blocks or use age appropriate toys

It is important to note that every child develops at their own pace and there may be variations within the normal range of development, however if you notice persistent and significant delays in multiple areas of development it is important to consult with a GP or seek an assessment from a specialist.


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