How to understand if your child needs help?
• Response to name call: Is there any kind of response from their end when you call them by their name?
• Anticipation: Is there any kind of eagerness they show when you play the tickle game with them?
• Experimenting: Does your child engage in any form of experimentation or do they explore when they come in contact with new objects?
• Imaginative play: Does your child engage in pretend play? For eg: animal play feeding.
• Curiosity: when you tell them that you have a gift for them, do they show any form of additional interest in finding out what it might be?
• Spontaneity: Does your respond to a situation almost instantly?
• Joint Attention: Does your child initiate a conversation?
• Gestural communication: Is your child capable of understanding gestural clues?
• Imitating action: Does your child have an issue with imitating action with you or his/her play partner?
• Pointing action: Does your child point at objects you name?
• Stimming: Does your child engage in stimming or repeated behavior like hand flapping?
• Specific object play: Does your child have an obsession with a specific toy as in fond of just car keys or cars alone etc?
Signs to look for language difficulty in children who is 1year old:
• Taking turns: Does your child have an issue in taking turns while conversing with you
• Babbling: Does your child babble or baby talk?
• Gestural communication: Does your child have an issue in understanding gestural communication?
• Following commands: Does your child exhibit difficulties in following simple instructions?
Signs to look for language difficulty in children between 1- 2 years of age:
• Comprehensive ability: Is your child able to comprehend approximately 50 words?
• Words: can your child speak two words together?
• Following commands: Can your child follow two step commands?
• Position concept: Does your child comprehend simple position related concepts such as on, under etc?
Signs to look for language difficulties in children between 2 and 3 years of age:
• Communicative skills: Is your child able to use 2-3 words in a sentence?
• Use of plurals: is your child capable of using plurals?
• Who, What, Where: Is your child capable of understanding who, what and where questions?
• Size and Quantity concept: Does your child comprehend the size and quantity concept.
But when it comes to autism, identifying it earlier, say probably by the time the child is 2years makes an enormous difference.
Nevertheless, no matter what age the child is, treatment can always reduce the disorders complications to an extent. Therefore, do not fret.
The following delays deserve a speedy evaluation.
By 6 months: If there is no big smile or other delighted expressions
By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions
By 12 months: If your child does not respond to names
By 12 months: If the child does not babble or does *baby talk*
By 12 months: If your child does not show signs or signals, such as pointing to someone or an object or waving
By 16 months: If your child does not say even a single word.
By 24 months: If you child does not say any expressive two words that doesn’t include replicating or retelling
Does your child have problems with pronunciation?
Does your child struggle to learn new facts or skills?
Does your child have a trouble to link the alphabets with sounds?
Does your child always tend to mix up letters and words when reading or writing?
Does your child have a very short attention span?
Does your child have trouble following directions?
Now, it’s quite normal to wonder the differences between slow learner and learning disabled. Slow learners would include children whose intelligence is below average. Imagine a child of below average intelligence, whose thinking capabilities are below normal for his/her age.
This child, however, will go through the same basic developmental stages just as other children, but only that the development will be in a significantly slower pace.
While on the other hand, a child who has a definite learning disability is one whose intelligence is average or above average and whose specific difficulties make learning very difficult.
Such as deficits in any of the basic central nervous system functions, which makes listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or math a problem area.
In short, if there is an inconsistency between the child's potential and actual accomplishment, it's usually called a specific learning disability. Whereas slow learners will always be behind their peers, but again this doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved instead it just means Children with a specific learning disability can, with the right help, be expected to attain chronologically appropriate academic levels in time.
When it comes to developmental delays, there are several general warning signs,
Behavioral Warning Signs
Does your child lack attention and responsiveness or doesn’t stay focused on an activity for a long time as normal children the same age does?
Does your child tend to concentrate on unusual objects for longer periods of time?
Does your child get extremely angry for doing even a simple task that normal child his age would do?
Does your child show aggressive behaviors at most times and appear to be very stubborn when compared with other children?
Gross Motor Warning Signs
Does your child have stiff arms and/or legs?
Does your child have a floppy or limp body posture compared to other children of the same age?
Does your child concentrate on using one side of the body more than the other side?
Vision Warning Signs
Does your child have a trouble in maintaining eye contact?
Does your child find it difficult to pick up small objects that are dropped on the floor?
Does your child frequently close one of his eyes when trying to look at distant objects?
Hearing Warning Signs
Does your child have abnormal change in his voice tone?
Does your child have difficulty in responding to name calls?
Does your child turn his body in a way that the same ear is always facing towards sound?
Does your child have a difficulty in following instructions after the age of 3?
Does your child fail to develop sounds or words that would be appropriate at her age?
If a child is not learning a skill that other children are learning at the same age, that may be a "warning sign" that the child may be at risk for developmental delay. If a child has not learned these skills during a specific time frame, it does not mean your child is delayed. Nevertheless, it’s better to discuss this with your child’s doctor.