The Five Areas of Developmental Delay

There is no known cause for children to develop a developmental delay, but there are factors that may contribute to a developmental delay.

Risk factors include:

  • Complications at birth
    • premature, low birth weight, did not obtain enough oxygen during birth
  • Environmental issues
    • lead poisoning, poor nutrition, trauma, exposure to alcohol or drugs
  • Medical conditions
    • chronic ear infections, injuries with long-term effects

These risks can lead children to be affect in one or more areas of development. These areas include:

  1. Cognitive– the ability to think, learn, and solve problems
  2. Social and emotional– the ability to relate and communicate with other people
  3. Speech and language– the ability to use and understand language
  4. Fine and gross motor – the ability to use small and large muscles in the body
  5. Activities of daily living– the ability to handle everyday tasks

There are times which a child can have a delay in more than one area. Individuals with a delay in two or more areas are known to have global developmental delay.

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