It’s easy to miss the signs when your child is growing up. After all, each child is different so the fact that your child is more or less energetic or slow to talk is not always a sign of something wrong. Nor is it always that obvious. Sometimes, your child may grow up with certain development issues that can be physical or psychological that may not manifest fully till they are much older, and when it’s also more difficult to treat. Since forewarned is forearmed, here are some guidelines on how to check for development issues in your child:
Physical Growth Issues
Some children are naturally very small or very large. They tend to even out by the time they hit puberty. However, if their weight and height is significantly different than the average figures for their peers, you should consult a paediatrician who will be able to tell you if something is wrong. The overstimulation of the pituitary gland in some children can lead to abnormally high height or weight, which can be balanced out with appropriate medication. Obesity is another development issue in young children. Their energetic lifestyle calls for a high calorie intake, however if their metabolisms are naturally slow and there is a family history of obesity, they can be at risk of childhood obesity.
Physical Development Issues
This is similar to physical growth, but captures more than simply height and weight. It captures dental problems, orthopaedic issues, audio- visual shortcomings etc. Make sure that your child meets his/ her doctor every 3- 6 months for a general check up.
Take your child to a dentist in Gisborne every few months to check for cavities and misalignments which can be corrected early. Some children have weak and brittle bones due to insufficient calcium in their daily diet, which can lead to orthopaedic problems later in life. If they don’t see small toys or insects or seem to avoid running or walking fast, check their sight first at home, then at the doctor’s. Play music around the house and note whether or not they react to the changes. Make sure that they are getting the right nutrition.
Pre- school age children rarely have psychological issues unless they have witnessed or experienced trauma. If not, the only psychological problems they would have are psychological diseases such as ADHD which can be congenital. Other issues like autism and dyslexia, which are not necessarily psychological but are developmental, can be diagnosed with simple screenings at the paediatrician. If they have witnessed trauma, the best way to help is to provide a stable environment in which a steady presence can ensure they feel safe. Therapy later in life can take care of residual issues.