Q&A: Kids lagging severely behind with milestones

Amy writes:

"Your post in response to the mom of the 7 month old was very helpful, as were the responses. But I'm wondering if you've heard from or could put out a call for responses from parents of kids who lagged considerably behind the "normal" milestone timeframes, and how they dealt with it/ how their kids turned out?

My daughter is 15 months. Even in utero, she only did little flutter kicks and never the crazy rib-pounding that other moms reported. She is a very calm, good-natured baby. She has never been very active–she has started rolling over in earnest only in the past month. She does not crawl.  She is good in the static positions of sitting and standing holding on to things, if you put her there–but the dynamic movements are slow to come. She also has no word-like sounds but does complex babbling and seems to have some receptive language: she will turn the page of a board book when I ask her to. She is cheery, looks healthy, makes great eye contact, is very interactive. So, no red flags for serious disorders that anyone can see. Medical evaluations have turned up nothing so far except slightly low muscle tone. We have a physiotherapist coming every couple of weeks to give us new things to work on– but progress is slow.

She is not one of those large babies reluctant to move; she has actually dropped down to the 5th percentile and only recently tripled her birthweight of 6 lbs 5 oz. She does have a squint which I think is astigmatism, and I'm waiting for our appointment to get it evaluated. I think that's about all the pertinent info!

So I would dearly love to hear from parents of late bloomers–I can't be the only one out here, can I?"

Not the only one that I know of, for sure. There were two kids who sounded similar to your daughter's profile in my original playgroup, and one just seemed to be more laid-back at the beginning but was caught up and indistinguishable by 3 years, and the other ended up having some physical therapy for low muscle tone for a few years.

I know that's only an n of 2, so I'm hoping readers will chime in. Nothing about what you've written sounds any alarms for me that there are things going on that you're not catching. You've had her evaluated, are doing PT, are watching out for astigmatism, and is very interactive and has great receptive language. She may never be an Olympic athlete, but it sounds like you're aware of that, too.

Readers? Any data points for Amy or other things for her to think about, or stories of similar kids?

56 thoughts on “Q&A: Kids lagging severely behind with milestones”

  1. I don’t have a lot of datapoints, but I do know the squint should be evaluated ASAP because early treatment can prevent irreversible vision loss. If you are waiting more than a week or two, that’s too long. Make sure the eye doctor you are seeing knows it’s a squint you need evaluated, and call it an emergency if you need to, so she can be seen soon. Good luck with everything!

  2. I should add, so as not to panic anyone, that some squints don’t need treatment. You don’t mention what kind of squint it is, so it may not need anything at all, depending.

  3. hmmm… very cheerful and happy, low muscle tone, small size… sounds like my nephew. Maybe just google Williams Syndrome to see if there is a fit?

  4. I would be aware of using DR. Google. I promised DH to only get medical advice from professionals after too many freak outs. DS (now 3.5) always felt late to me. He started daycare at 18 months and had not reliably been walking for long. He also was a late talker too. I was agtating to be seen by a speach therapist but was told he was too young. Now he is an amazing talker. We never talked ‘baby talk’ to him.,My Mom would always say ‘You talk to him like he is in college’ to which I woud reply ‘That’s where we want him to go!’. If you have a family dr I speak to her/him. Mine told me to chill out and I did.

  5. I have a late bloomer – he either did things on the later side of normal, or was a couple of months late. He sat at 8 months, crawled at 10 months, didn’t pull to a stand until 11.5 months, walked at 15 months, and didn’t start pointing until around 15-16 months. He still isn’t that interested in pointing to body parts – he’ll point to my nose, eyes, etc., but has no idea where his own is.He’s 20 months now, and still has yet to say his first word. We’ve been to speech therapy, and the therapist isn’t concerned, so now we talk to him a lot and we wait.
    Now that I know he’s on the slower side of normal, I’ve adjusted my expectations a bit – if the milestones chart says he should be doing something at a certain point, I tend to tack on a couple of months, especially if it’s communication-related (and I’m just ignoring the speech related ones – hopefully he’ll get there in his own time). It helps, but I’m certainly not zen about it all the time. However, I’m better than I was when he was 14 months, when I was convinced there was something seriously wrong with him.

  6. I’ll chime in to agree to get the squint checked out ASAP. Not because it is so dreadful to have a squint and astigmatism but the earlier you get treatment the better it works.My very observant maternal grandmother noticed that I squinted when I was 18 months and I’ve done very well. Others I know treated later did not do as well.
    Sight is a huge factor in walking too. As in setting off to the other side of the room when you can’t see it properly is daunting.
    I have the squint, astigmatism, lower muscle tone, hyper-mobile joints and assorted other issues linked to Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility. Nobody saw the connections back then. Collagen disorder.
    I never crawled, nor rolled over much and was very wobbly on the feet and had a very peculiar walk when I did get going. Very skinny.
    On the other hand my DD does not have my joints and is sturdy. Very tall though, 99th centile. All her fine motor skills like page-turning, all her interactive abilities, receptive language all there.
    But by 18 months she’d been walking for only two weeks and couldn’t say 6 words.
    Now we’re very late with the toilet learning at 3.5. In drawing, jigsaw puzzling, just remembering maps she’s way ahead but still talks much less well than other girls. Progressing rapidly now.
    I’ve been told she does more thinking than doing. Whatever. She did have ear problems between 16-18 months which we had fixed but it didn’t perk up the talking/walking thing. Developmental delay was mooted, but it was just uneven normal development.
    This is all tangential and anecdotal. Sorry. My advice based on my experience is that it is important to have health issues checked out and dealt with. In the OP’s case the squint. Have a look at the joints/muscle tone thing. But not to do the DR. Google too much as an earlier poster noted.

  7. My DS was late rolling over, sitting up and didn’t start trying to walk until close to 15 months or so. And he was very wobbly until several months ago. He is 2 now and recently started trying to run (he’s not there yet!). He receives physical therapy through the Early Intervention program in our state and all the therapists and doctors have been able to identify is mild low muscle tone (he did have torticollis as a baby).He also receives speech therapy, but I don’t know if he needs it now. He suddenly blossomed right before his 2nd birthday and can now say 2-3 word sentences, though he is hard to understand 🙂 He had less than 5 words at his 18 month appointment (mama, dada and up).
    I can’t offer anything related to the eye issue but it seems like you are doing all the right things for the other stuff. My therapists say that as long as DS is making steady progress, he is doing well even if he is “behind” the norm.

  8. You mention that she’s happy, interactive and makes good eye contact. Does interactive mean that she will copy you, try to imitate your facial expressions (stick tongue out), clap hands, wave, play peek-a-boo? Can she point at things?I only ask because your description sounds like my oldest son who at 12 months was happy, made great eye contact, had good receptive language but was not making any word sounds and didn’t do the clapping, waving, pointing etc. He was also a very late walker, low muscle tone, etc. We had him evaluated several times and eventually got a PDD-NOS diagnosis (autism spectrum) which qualified him for free early intervention services. (He’s now 5, doing great, and will mainstream into Kindergarten next year)
    I’m by no means trying to scare you with the “autism” word – from your description it doesn’t sound like that – but I did just want to chip in with my experience. We were told by our pediatrician to “wait and see” but I was sure something wasn’t right and insisted on an evaluation and got a diagnosis.
    I know many people push back against early intervention (“late bloomers will get there eventually”) but the early intervention stuff doesn’t harm (in fact it’s good for all kids!), and missing the window can set you back, so it’s never a bad thing to err on the side of getting evaluations if you’re worried, and, if necessary, early intervention services.
    You’ve done all the right things and you sound like you are totally on top of this so if all of my comment is redundant, feel free to ignore!

  9. PS – I didn’t mean to be flippant with the “late bloomers will get there eventually” – it’s absolutely true, and for most kids this is the case. I just know that it’s hard sometimes when you *do* have concerns and you get that response. On the other hand, if your gut feeling is that your child is doing just fine, just progressing at her own speed but a bit behind the curve of typical, then that’s what counts!

  10. Here’s my data point, FWIW:My niece was diagnosed with torticollis and rather pronounced brachycephaly when she was a baby. She wore a helmet for a few months and received OT at the same time. (I think it was roughly between 6 and 9 months.)
    Like Amy’s daughter, my niece is happy and very interactive. She has, however, been quite slow to reach milestones: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, and talking. She took her first steps at 18 mos.
    She’s 20 mos. old now. She walks well. She babbles a ton w/ language-like syllables, but doesn’t have many recognizable words. When I babysat her the other night, I distinguished “ee-go” (here you go), “puppy,” a few different animal sounds upon request, “tickle,” and a couple of other words. So…definitely understanding what people say to her, and trying to talk. But she seems a little behind, esp. compared to her cousin who is 4 mos. younger and started crawling, walking, and talking WAY before her.
    I’m guessing the torticollis has a lot to do with it. She is clearly making steady progress, but I think she just got a late start with everything because her stiff muscles were slowing her down in the beginning.

  11. I totally read dooce.com and this definitely sounds very similar to Leta, who is now quite the active and extremely bright 6 or 7 year old! I believe when she was 1-ish, docs said she would probably never walk, but she walked around 2. You can search through the archives on the site- and as a bonus, it’s a hoot!

  12. @girdtmom, I thought the exact same thing, and as @eeeeee mentioned, Leta is doing great now. Every kid is different though. Sorry I have no data points today.

  13. my now almost 6 y.o. crawled at 11 months, walked at 15. I was worried about his crawling & walking, had a fellow 1st time mom who went on & on about how important crawling was for brain & speech development. then one of my colleagues w/grown son who graduated w/honors told how that son had Never Crawled, and didn’t walk til 18 months.I third the caution about Dr. Google. I get all worked up about stuff, and Dr. Google has pushed me over the edge into panic more than once! If there’s a professional you trust with whom you can share all your concerns, I would start there. Sometimes just being heard helps me. Good luck!

  14. I always think if you’re worried, get it checked out, if only for your own peace of mind.That said, in my playground we had a child who seemed a lot like you describe, minus the squint but who would not eat any solids more solid than runny cereal until he was well past 3, with therapists working with him. People used to come up to my friend and TELL her her son had autism.
    He’s a perfectly normal 5 year old. He was on his own schedule. Plays soccer, reads up a storm.

  15. I have a late talker. Well, I should write, I had a late talker. At age two, my child was able to do less than with his speech than other kids his age (he attended daycare). His comprehension was better than his expression, and he would become frustrated and upset when people didn’t understand him. Both his daycare teacher and his pediatrician observed the problem, agreed it was an issue, but didn’t have a strong opinion either way on whether he’d grow out of it and if he needed therapy. We chose therapy, ad for me the deciding factors were his frustration with language and the fact that I honestly didn’t know what else to try to help him; I needed a new bag of tricks. He did qualify (but just barely) for Early Intervention. He had 6 months of speech therapy, and it made a big difference. He’s now (age 6) normal in terms of speech, and definitely doesn’t have any problem expressing himself! If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have changed what I did, but if changed anything I would have pursued Early Intervention sooner rather than later.

  16. Just another thing to maybe check into since you mentioned she has low muscle tone and maybe you have already… but Celiac Disease. Its a simple blood test. (CD is a immune system response to gluten – and is being diagnosed more on a spectrum.) The reason I mention it is because sometimes the symptoms are so mild that its not obvious but the damage is still being done internally.My SIL has it. She was delayed walker for sure. But with CD your body can’t absorb the nutrients very well which can lead to weight loss, etc.
    Anyway, not trying to alarm you of course. Once a diagnosis is made, adhering to the diet is the treatment. My SIL is doing great now all these years later.
    Hang in there mama!

  17. My DS was at the tail end of every milestone range. At some point I just accepted that it was his normal. I didn’t feel like anything was “wrong”. Society puts a lot of pressure to excel and be the best, as do the grandparents. But the truth of the matter is that kids all grow and develop at their own rate. DS is now 2 1/4 and completely caught up. His speech is fine, when he decides to speak, he just isn’t a big talker. Go with your gut.

  18. I don’t have anything to add regarding milestones. I wanted to add to the discussion of Dr Google.I think you should decide for yourself if you want to use Dr. Google. If you know that you’ll freak out at the slightest, merest, vaguest hint of undesirable possibilities, then it may not be a good idea. If, however, you are more logic driven and can rationally sift through the information, it may not be so bad.
    Being an engineer myself, I do well with more information. My imagination of the unknown is more scary to me than a rundown of even the slightest possible explanations.

  19. I have no data point- my second kid has been slower to hit milestones than my first, but not enough so to cause worry, and it is so clearly just that she has a more laid back personality that it doesn’t sound all that similar to Amy’s situation.But, as a mom who has been taking that laid back baby through the run of specialists because she gets frequent fevers… I can tell you that even though we’ve basically come up empty from all those visits, I still think it was worth the time and effort. There is a certain peace of mind in having had the experts take a look and tell you that they don’t think there is anything unusual/worrisome going on.
    So I guess I’m saying that if you’re worried, ask to see a specialist.
    Also, if you’re worried about the speech thing, try sign language. If her muscle tone isn’t up to the level that would allow her to make words, she can still communicate. We’ve used sign language with both of our kids, and it really helps in the transition phase when they have the intellectual power to communicate, but not the physical capability to speak. I think it cuts down on the screaming, because we get fewer tantrums sparked by our complete inability to figure out what the kid wants. Plus, babies using sign language are unbelievable cute.

  20. In my state (California), all children (down to 6 months) are entitled to Early Intervention screening through the school district. You might consider asking for one if your state does the same. If everything is fine, you can let go of your worries. If she has some challenges, the sooner they are addressed, the better. In our state, Early Intervention services are free and offered in-home.In my experience, moms’ gut instincts are usually right. The sooner you know for sure, the sooner you can either relax or get started on making it better. A win-win, once you are ready to take the step.
    I am glad I did. I felt so much less scared afterward.

  21. I’m in the “Find Out” camp when it comes to managing life’s worries. And I like that old expression: “Worry is like interest paid in advance on a debt that never goes through.”Amen to what @Sherry H said, for those of us who prefer more information in general, and who prefer to analyze things logically, Dr. Google can be a great place to start. It’s definitely not for everyone though.
    And I agree with what @Cloud said, “if you’re worried, ask to see a specialist.”

  22. Dooce readers should recall that Leta’s road to her current delightful and fascinating individual self required what sounded like a lot of specialist involvement and advocacy from her parents.You want to be in touch with your pediatrician and whoever does the early intervention in your area as soon as possible. Many early intervention places will allow you to self refer, and the wait list is long so it is good to at least get your name in.
    I’ve been through this with 2 of my 3 kids, and your description is setting off my warning flags (gross motor, communication and change on the growth curve are all big ones, you haven’t mentioned fine motor or sensory much). No one should be too hung up over a milestone chart, but you’re tripping flags by a signifigant margin in more than one area does warrant a closer look.
    The good news is, it’s early and you have lots of time to find out what is going on and what (if anything) you can do or try.
    The biggest thing I wanted to eliminate early on was wether or not my kids were healthy… did they have an absorption disorder or a genetic disorder or something that was affecting their development. I was able to rule that out early and with therapy move towards more in the range of “normative”.
    Good luck.

  23. My son was on target for all gross motor skills, but was really behind in language and cognitive development. At 2, he was only signing a few words. We were encouraged by his pediatrician to seek Early Intervention services. He had other red flags of not copying gestures and lack of eye contact. He was an extremely fussy infant. He has sensory issues. They placed him at about 11 months old for his development.Flash forward to 3 now and he is completely on target with speech. He is talking in full sentences. His cognitive skills are right at 3 years as well. The autism word has been brought up a bunch of times, but I haven’t been able to get him to complete a neurological assessment. He makes good eye contact now and copies gestures. He is very outgoing as long as not overwhelmed.
    You mentioned you have a physical therapist and have had medical evaluations. Have you contacted Early Intervention? We had services twice a week and he attended a play group. I am wondering if you would be able to get more frequent services from them. Also, I agree with others who said the squinting could be throwing off her balance. They check hearing when kids are not talking on time. Her eyes could be the reason.
    I am with all of those that needed more information. I would pour over the internet looking for ways to help my son. I changed his diet to dairy/casein free from looking online. None of the “specialists” recommended it. I saw improvement immediately. Whenever he has dairy, his behavior changes. Many people told me to wait and not get services. He would catch up. I figured why not? It can’t hurt to get help. They gave me so many tools that helped him communicate.
    Good luck!

  24. My daughter walked at 18 months with physical therapy- she was a preemie, so it was covered by the state. At 14 months, she wasn’t even crawling. The ped. told me that he would write me a referral for the therapist, but that he really thought that for her, it was a matter of motivation. We got the therapy, and I think it helped, but looking back, and looking at her personality now (she’s 4), I think he was right. I think she didn’t feel like walking. She is often in her own world, and her movement now is still definitely on her own terms. She is happy and healthy, participates in skiing, dance and soccer, but she is certainly not the type to run off aimlessly.

  25. My husband is working through a pediatric genetics rotation now (he’s finishing peds residency this month), and from what he’s told me, it’s possible that some of those delays in achieving milestones — especially combined with being small — might be due to a genetic issue. See if your pediatrician will give you a referral; you can also see a developmental pediatrician. I think if you’re worried, Early Intervention is a great place to start, and it’s free. My older son had quirky early development (big talker, late walker, late on self-care skills, excellent fine motor), and EI in our state was very helpful in identifying things he needed to work on (although he didn’t qualify for any therapy).

  26. We had very late edge-of-normal mobility milestones (crawling 12 1/2 months, walking 16) but in Mouse’s case we had very early talking to go with it (20 words before she crawled, 3-word sentences before walking) so while I initially worried, we were convinced not to by our pedi and others who were sure she was putting her energy into communication. And indeed, she’s a fully caught up normal 7-year-old – although, being large for her age she can’t do monkey bars & upper body strength stuff as adeptly as kids who are still in the 40-50 pound range. But she takes dance and goes to acrobatics camp and runs and rock-climbs and all the rest.If her speech had seemed equally “behind” I wouldn’t have been so easily mollified and I would have insisted on further evaluation. Which might well have come out normal, but it would have needed more explanation IMO.
    Hugs to you!

  27. My little twin had low muscle tone and required 2x a week of PT and 1x a week OT. SHe was caught up by 3. I would really recommend stepping up the PT. And also encouraging any type of play, not in those gym places, they aren’t great for Low Tone kids but rather make sure there is enough room in the living room for her to move and places to pull up.Jumpy things were good for Cams. A big rubber ball to lean her own. And lots and lots of swinging in the swing (regular park swing) for balance and back muscles.
    as I said, by 3 we were completely caught up, to the point no one ever detected a thing at school unless I mentioned it and it was worth the struggle.

  28. Our data points: DS is usually on the later side for any physical milestones. Turned the first time on one side at exactly 6 months, and then both sides not until 8 or 9 months. Crawled just before a year (I think? It’s getting foggy). Walked a few steps for the first time around 16.5 months but not fully (though gingerly) walking at 18 months.Words were slow in coming at first too. Only a few at 20 mos. By 2 he had a bunch of words, but not a lot. This may be because of regular exposure/communication in 3 languages. But then language exploded. I suspect he’s pretty much on track now. But to be honest, I have no idea what’s normal for 3. And he also sorted the two main languages (English & French) out and knows the difference between the two. That just happened recently.
    For potty training he seems to be smack dab in the middle of average. He day trained on his 3rd birthday.
    At three we can see his gross motor skills starting to catch up to his fine motor skills which have always been really good. He is definitely a big observer. Likes to watch a lot before he does…wants to do it well, right out of the gate.
    And regarding Dr. Google, ITA with @Sherry H. and @hush. For me more info is better than less for exactly the reasons stated above. Also, I really find it lets me qualify my gut feelings/concerns with specific words when I speak to the doctor. It gets to the heart of the matter much more quickly and either they dispel my worries because of x, y or z. Or in several cases (more with DH than DS) my concerns have been bang on.
    The one that stands out in my mind most is when DH’s platelet count took a nosedive to almost 0. They caught it by accident when doing routine blood tests at the heart institute, where he’s a patient. Hospitalized immediately. But they couldn’t figure out why it happened. We had just had our H1N1 vaccinations and I suspected it was a side effect from that (a 1/10 000 possibility on the side effect sheet we got). The hematologist and heart surgeons/specialists debated it out. In the end the hematologist agreed with me (though the heart specialists did not). But DH has not had a flu vaccination since.
    Anyhow, all that to say that as mentioned, I think it comes down to your own personality regarding Dr. Google. If you’re OK with more info, it can really be a good tool in helping you participate in your own health care and also in being an advocate for yourself / your family.

  29. Go with your gut. If you think something is wrong. keep asking questions. Some milestone lags mean nothing in the long run, some do. I had a “feeling” about my daughter and her delays weren’t just late blooming unfortunately.

  30. I’m with @Katy. If you feel something might be wrong, then a pediatrician’s “wait and see” answer doesn’t cut it.My experience:
    Our son was also interactive (smiled at us, liked us to hold him or read books to him) and also late on milestones (walked at 17 months; other physical milestones were also delayed). But he had no language. And what felt like “interactive” to us really wasn’t all that interactive (two children later, I now have something to compare it to). He was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum right before he turned 2. He got free services through the state and flourished. He just finished mainstream kindergarten and even the skeptical neurologist agrees he no longer qualifies for a diagnosis.
    I feel this acronym is VERY helpful in figuring out if your baby is interactive in the “appropriate” ways for a 12-month-old (taken from http://newmommyoasis.com/a-different-kind-of-baby-bliss/):
    Baby B.L.I.S.S.*
    For our purposes, I have developed an easy way to remember the signs to look for as your young child is developing. When making a diagnosis, my colleagues and I focus on a baby being able to do several early developmental skills around social interactions and play. I have also created some short video clips showing these skills as they begin to develop. The video shows what your baby should be doing by their first birthday for each part of the acronym: B.L.I.S.S.
    B = Babbling- your baby should be playing with vocal sounds a lot, making a variety of vowel and first consonant sounds such as b, d, and m – think mama, dada, baba, etc.
    L = Looking – this involves your baby looking at you when you talk, looking back at you when they are playing to “check in”, and looking at something you point to, to see what it is.
    I= Imitating – your baby should imitate your basic play actions such as clapping hands, waving bye-bye, blowing kisses, or banging blocks together, etc.
    S= Sharing – your baby should share enjoyment with you by laughing and giggling for familiar games such as peak-a-boo, or “Sooo big”.
    S = Showing – your baby should hold objects up to you to “show” them to you. They often won’t let go of the item, but they want to get your interest in what is interesting them. If they are walking, they may “bring” it to you to show you.
    So this is the new kind of baby B.L.I.S.S. I hope every parent becomes aware of and I want you to remember it for yourselves and for all of your friends. Remember, if your friends or family have concerns, by just starting with these questions, you will know almost immediately if you should have an autism specialist take a look. It is important to note, this is by no means a diagnosis, it is just a way to be aware of the early signs so that if this is what it is, the correct course of action can be taken and a diagnostic assessment can be done as soon and as early as possible.
    In our experience, DS really lacked in the “Babbling” and “Showing” areas. The other areas were also delayed, but not as severely.

  31. My thoughts, which would need further examination with a professional who can actually see the child in question:1) Congenital mis-coordination of firing of muscle groups. There’s a name for it, can’t recall what it is, but it used to be just considered ‘clumsy’ and needs only some PT and a lot of time to grow out of it (my nephew, who was still commando crawling at that age, is now totally coordinated as a young teen). The developmental ped they saw said ‘find a good pediatric plastic surgeon, because these kids tend not to get their hands up in time to catch themselves when they fall, and get a lot of face bangs’ (though he only needed stitches a few times)
    2) Hypotonia associated with hypermobility. If connective tissue hypermobility hasn’t been checked, it should be, IMHO. PT works for that, as well.
    As I recall, the major concern that the developmental ped had was whether my nephew could ‘get to’ and ‘get into’ stuff – with the difference being that kids who manage to explore the world (however they manage it) generally do pretty well (understanding that temperament also plays a role – easy-going kids may explore what is up close, or watch/observe people more than ‘stuff’) – it took the professional to determine the lack of concern on that for my nephew.
    I have one child who had hypotonia AND was huge (hypotonia related to connective tissue hypermobility). She’s fine (took longer to do a lot of things), but still has issues with hand strength and sensory processing. The other child with ‘symptoms’ of the connective tissue disorder (benign hypermobility) is the one who rides, which qualifies as his PT at the moment. 🙂

  32. When you’ve had all the medical testing done and it turns up nothing, you just have delays. It doesn’t mean the child will never get there, it just means it’ll take longer and nobody knows how long or why this is. In most cases the kids themselves don’t seem to be bothered by the delays, so the job is for the parents to control their anxieties and of course do whatever may be recommended in terms of therapy. It really helps to think in terms of other than deficiency; whatever it is that’s delayed, think of it as “not her strong suit”. It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but kids always turn out to have something that is indeed their strong suit.

  33. I have a late-ish bloomer. Neither of my older boys sat up until close to 7.5 months. They didn’t crawl until around 10, and they walked somewhere around 17. Those are all on the end of the “average” time frame. They also talked later. Neither had any intervention, and they are both typically developed children now. They are almost 4 and 5.5yrs.I think that what you’re describing doesn’t sound too concerning. However, I think it’s always okay to ask for an eval from an OT, PT, or other professional if you think it would help. Also, if you think that your daughter might have vision issues it’s not too early to get that looked at.

  34. I have to agree with those who’ve advised contacting Early Intervention services in your state. I’m an SLP working with preschoolers with speech/language delays for the past 20 years. As many have pointed out, EI will let you know if her delays are significant, and intervention at this point is really focused play. She’ll enjoy it, whether or not she turns out to need it in the end, and you will get a clear idea of her strengths and weaknesses. From what you’ve described, I think it would be a good idea to get a more detailed assessment of her speech development and receptive language.

  35. Another data point here. BabyT was slow to get head control (maybe 4 months?), rolled over once around 3-4 months and never did it again, and didn’t crawl until 13 months. She finally started walking at 19.75 months. She did qualify for PT through the Early Intervention stuff, but none of the medical tests revealed any specific issues.Like Charisse’s Mouse, T had a ton of words (hundreds?) and short phrases before she started walking. She started signing back to us around 7 or 8 months. She’s got complete sentences now at 21 months, which are even understandable to the folks at her daycare.
    So in general I wasn’t worried (except when she hit 18 months and STILL wasn’t walking!) but I was pretty sure she was working on communication.
    I was not sure about the PT, but didn’t want to feel like we didn’t get her help if she needed it. We still will do it until she’s “caught up” with her age group, whatever that means…
    Getting an eval done for Early Intervention might put your mind at rest, as will Xrays and other physical (noninvasive) exams.
    But I’m pretty sure I’ve got a kid who isn’t a real “mover” and isn’t motivated to move as much.
    Also a pet peeve, Moxie’s comment about the kid not being an “Olympic athlete” kind of bugged me as my pediatrician said the same thing to us. Isn’t it a bit early to tell? I’m not sure late gross motor skills implies that your kid *couldn’t* be an Olympian. Just seems limiting and unnecessary, that’s all.

  36. I just wanted to post a quick comment because I’m an eye doctor. I don’t have any input about the other issues, but what do you mean when you say ‘squint’? That’s sort of a generic term that could probably mean a lot of things. And I’m guessing that you might mean ‘amblyopia’ instead of ‘astigmatism’ (unless you’ve already been to an eye doctor) because astigmatism is a type of prescription that you’d only ever know about if an eye doctor has told you. Amblyopia means that one eye does not see as well as the other & if it doesn’t get corrected fairly early it will not be able to be fixed later on. Definitely see an eye doctor asap & make sure that it’s a specialist – a pediatric opthalmologist or optometrist. If it is amblyopia, in most cases with some simple eye patching or drops it can be totally fixed. Good luck & hang in there mama!

  37. Amy writes: Your post in response to the mom of the 7 month old was very helpful, as were the responses. But I’m wondering if you’ve heard from or could put out a call for responses from parents of kids…

  38. If this is helpful: my son didn’t walk until 18 months. He’s fine, and actually more “together” physically than his sister now at three. He’s just very cautious, very laid back, and will not attempt a skill until he’s pretty sure he’ll nail it. It sounds like you are right on top of everything, but some kids are just cautious little things.

  39. Please do seek out evaluation from a developmental pediatrician. The delays you are describing are in more than one developmental skill area (language and motor), are substantially different than other kids her age and you are also seeing changes in physical development (change in her rate of growth). These are legitimate things to be concerned about, and it’s definitely better to have your concerns dismissed if there is no reason to be worried, than to wait to hear that there is something to be addressed.

  40. The poster didn’t mention whether her daughter is in daycare; if she’s not, maybe she should look for a few-mornings-per-week placement if finances allow? Just watching other kids play in a rich environment can do a lot for some kids, and the teachers usually have a good box of tricks to try, also.Early Intervention’s initial assessment is a bit like Dr. Google, in that you get out what you put in, and if you’ve misunderstood what is meant by the question (or the evaluating staff didn’t understand the question either) you’ll get misleading results. If the child is in a daycare/preschool program, you have teachers who are versed in the terminology, have a baseline sense of ‘normal’ and know your child – you can then use the teachers to at least sanity-check the evaluation.

  41. @ARC, interestingly, moderately hypermobile kids may be very non athletic as small children, but tend to fill the ranks of gymnasts and professional dancers and athletes as adults. So your point is correct on that, as well as for kids with many other physical differences.I was the child who would sit in one spot and watch the people go by, who was clumsy and covered with scrapes and bruises from whacking into things and falling over stuff… and then started dancing at 9, and took up a second form at 14, and rocketed up in skill and finesse at that point. The drive to move kicked in, and because of the hypermobility, my body actually demands more motion (and thrives only at a higher level of fitness) than the ‘typical’.
    Likewise, Mr B crashed into walls so many times as a kid that he had adhesion scars on his forehead, he takes FOREVER to build strength in the looser jointed areas, but once he builds it, holy ****, he’s strong, and stunningly well controlled (he’s 9, and has started jumping on horseback as of last week – but he only managed to get his grip strength up enough to keep the reins from slipping through his fingers constantly about a month ago (after five years of working on it!).).
    PT/OT also with Miss M, who had gait trouble and sensory issues as well, and who could not run without falling (though she was a child in constant motion from the start), and what seemed like ‘eh’ (okay, so now she can jump from a curb? woo?) initially has developed into ‘please stop running everywhere!’ 🙂
    It is easy to assume that the kids who are non-athletic as small kids will be non-athletic later, but in fact, not so. (I always go back to Scott Hamilton, who was put on ice skates because he struggled so much with walking in toddlerhood and they thought sliding might be easier… speaking of Olympic Athletes! 🙂 )

  42. “You mention that she’s happy, interactive and makes good eye contact. Does interactive mean that she will copy you, try to imitate your facial expressions (stick tongue out), clap hands, wave, play peek-a-boo? Can she point at things?”@Katy: she just started to do an occasional imitation last week…see my response to Amy below. Plus, she loves peekaboo. She will not point. I’ve seen her clap once, a week or so ago, but that’s it.
    “You mentioned you have a physical therapist and have had medical evaluations. Have you contacted Early Intervention?”
    @Kristina: Yep, we’re “in the system” since just after her 1st birthday. So far we’ve had a home nurse visit, a visit to a Developmental centre where we saw a ped, an OT, a nurse, and a speech therapist. We get to go again in October. A PT comes once a month or so.

  43. (continued)@ KatieV re: Baby B.L.I.S.S.: She has just barely begun to imitate– last week I picked her up and said “whoopee!” and she did an approximation of the sound, a huge first for her! And last week she also made hair washing motions while I washed my hair as we took a bath together. I was floored–she just doesn’t imitate. “Showing” is the other thing; I really don’t think she’s doing that at all yet. Her babbling was really basic at 12 months but has gotten very complex and conversational, so that’s good!
    Re connective tissue issues: I think she’s fine. I see no evidence of hypermobility, nor did the two pediatricians we saw. I’m familiar with Marfan and Ehlers-Danlos and some physical traits to look for, and I don’t see them.
    Re Williams syndrome: I’ve just looked into it and I was alarmed at first because she looks a bit elfin, but then so do her dad and I! I don’t see the caricatured elf-like features in her that are shown in Google images…whew!
    Re: various folks asking about Early intervention, we’ve just gotten a couple of new things through the province, hooray! We get once-a-week individualized sessions with an infant psychologist, plus once a week in a toddler group for kids with various delays where we’ll work on things like a relaxed approach to mealtimes/food exploration, physical stuff, etc. I’m really pleased!
    @Angie: you’re right, I’m a naturopathic doc and not an ophthalmologist, so my terminology may be off! I’m just going on websites and speaking to my BF from high school over the phone– she’s an ophthalmologist. I was under the mistaken impression that amblyopia was a more serious potential permanent blindness. Re: specifics, she squints her left eye when looking at things, usually things somewhat in the distance, but sometimes things just a few feet away. Still waiting for the referral to the ped ophth, I hope it comes soon!
    And for all the folks concerned about athletic prowess: well, neither dad nor I are “athletes” but we like to exercise. As long as she’s able to take joy in some form of physical movement, I’m happy!
    Thank you again to everyone who took the time to respond, I very very much appreciate it!

  44. My son started language with babble-sentences. I could tell what kind of question he was asking by the rising and falling intonation pattern, which was neat. (Those are things I don’t know intellectually, but at a level closer to instinct.) I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by “complex babbling,” but it’s a very good sign. He also did not kick much in utero, and sometimes he’d be quiet for days. I have heard recently that might have something to do with the placement of the placenta. He never clapped, and didn’t wave until he started regular daycare at 19 months. We didn’t emphasize it, and he didn’t give a damn about it. He’s a willful child, and he had better things to do, in his opinion — he wasn’t a performing seal, for crying out loud. Such was his personality. Otherwise my child falls more in the normal range, but ahead of the game in language. I never really had any concerns about him. I suppose I share that just as a picture of what one version of “normal” might look like.I think it’s wise to have your child evaluated (as you are) and to pursue whatever you judge to be appropriate. Early intervention is key and I don’t think it can hurt. However things turn out, your daughter will still be your daughter. I see a lot of children with autism several times a week, and mostly they look like other children, with parents who love them and are exasperated with them, with difficulties and triumphs, with crayons and trains and dolls. I’m sure it’s not easy, but it’s only one part of their selves.

  45. Some Child ‘s Physical Progress like a Walking are slow. Normal Child have to start walking in 10 to 12 Months, while some child have to start walking in 18 to 20 Months. So, These is not an very serious Matter.

  46. This post hit close to home. My daughter could sit but hadn’t rolled over by a year. We started EI and then ended up pursuing pediatric PT for her hypotonia. She was also late to talk. She was referred to a developmental pediatrician at 15 months, as well as a pediatric orthopedist to evaluate her legs and hips (by this point she was cruising, but very turned out). She’s 17 months now and just started walking independently. She has also developed a lot of words. The developmental ped and the orthopedist said she was just at the late range of normal and the PT was really helping her overcome a lot of the hypotonia. I suspect if you can get the PT to come more frequently, and/or work more on building her muscles, she’ll progress a little more quickly. Overall, though, sounds like you’re doing everything right and hopefully if there is something more serious going on, it will be caught and addressed early. Good luck! This sort of thing is very stressful, but you’re doing the right thing checking into it.

  47. @Kelly – there are great books on baby sign language that can teach you the signs (if you don’t know them). 8 months is a good age to get started, but kids pick them up at different ages. We – on the advice of our ped- – started with the basics, “more” and “all done”. Then we worked in “drink” “eat” “gentle” “stop” “sleep” and later (15-18 months) “please” and “thank you”. We never tried more than that. Our DS was a late talker and picked up the signs as he was learning to talk, not earlier.

  48. I recently published a story regarding my son’s plagiocephaly and how it was a difficult time for my family. When I posted it, I posted it as a blog. But it’s now published on a few websites as a motivational story for parents who are struggling to find funds… If you would like to read it, you can see it on the Steeper Clinic’s tumblr page.http://rslsteeper.tumblr.com/
    I hope this might help!

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  50. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

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