Is My Child’s Developmental Delay a Cause For Concern?

 In Pediatrics

The Role of Physiotherapy for Developmental Delay in Children

Every child’s development is unique, each of them attaining the various milestones of development at their own pace. Small delays in reaching these milestones can be normal and are often not a cause for concern. However, if your child is showing an ongoing delay in attaining any specific milestones, you may consider speaking to your doctor or pediatrician.

An ongoing delay in attaining a milestone, whether it be in language, thinking, or motor skills, is called a developmental delay. Although developmental delays are quite common in children, little is known about their cause. At times, these delays are attributed to factors such as premature births, hereditary disorders, or problems with pregnancy and labour. However, there are frequently instances where the cause of a developmental delay is not known and cannot be determined.

For children with developmental delays, early identification and timely intervention are crucial in the hopes of attaining the best possible outcome for the child.

Fine Motor Skill Development Delay

Fine motor skills include movements such as writing, drawing, tying shoes, holding/manipulating toys, and feeding oneself. These skills, which often involve our fingers and hands, consist of small, precise movements requiring high levels of coordination. A significant delay in the timely development of fine motor skills can have negative impacts on a child’s wellbeing. More specifically, delays in fine motor skills can have a strong influence on a child’s performance in school.

Fine Motor Skills

Gross Motor Skill Developmental Delay

Gross motor skills are larger movements such as walking, running, jumping, climbing, throwing and catching. These skills, which often involve multiple components of our body as a whole, require strength, flexibility, range of motion, coordination, and proper motor planning.

Though a delay in these skills may not have the same negative effects on a child’s ability to perform academically, gross motor skills are important in social inclusion amongst peers. A delay in the development of gross motor skills can have repercussions on a child’s self-esteem and mental health.

Physiotherapy and Developmental Delay

Physiotherapy for children with developmental delays strives to help the child advance to their next milestone through play with active involvement of the parents. We begin by assessing the various elements involved in performing the task requiring attention, such as coordination, appropriate response times, adaptability to changing environments, and proper responses to external stimuli. Strength, flexibility, and range of motion are also taken into account and assessed for inconsistencies. From this information, a treatment plan specific to the area or areas of concern is created. These plans are tailored to be fun and engaging to the child as to promote adherence in the hopes of attaining the best possible outcome.

Gross motor skills

Every child develops at a different speed and falling slightly outside of what is often seen as the normal range is not always a cause for concern. However, if you think your child has a developmental delay and isn’t able to perform tasks around the expected time frame, you may consider speaking to your doctor or paediatrician about a referral to Bellefleur Physiotherapy for assessment and treatment.

Bellefleur Physiotherapy aims to treat children in a safe and fun manner that’ll engage you as well as your child, all the while working towards optimal recovery. Give us a call at 613-424-7852 or email us at to book an assessment or for further information.



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