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How do you know that your child is mentally challenged?

Unless you visit a child specialist, it is difficult to identify during the early days of the newborn. There are developmental milestones for each growing month of the child. Parents can observe the child and if delay in the milestones is noticed they need to consult a specialist. With the help of certain websites and my pediatric text books I have prepared a guideline to follow your childs developmental milestones. This will help you to take an appointment of a consultant, so use it as a guideline only.  

1 month

Milestones

Within a few weeks after birth the baby will start taking notice of your voice, face, and touch.

Your baby can focus to gaze at your face. Absolute contrast colors like BLACK & WHITE draw her attention. Baby turns towards familiar sounds. Hearing is fully developed. Baby cannot hold her head but if she's on her stomach, she can turn her head to the side. She can get her hands close to her mouth.

Feed your baby when you are in sitting position. After burping let you baby sleep in a prone position on your chest. Make sure to touch your baby frequently. Cuddle her, talk to her, and learn how she signals when she's sleepy or hungry. Be attentive and responsive. Get close and make eye contact with your baby when you talk, sing or play with her. Hang a colourful toy on cradle within the reach of her eyes.

Red flags

Each child develops at her own pace, but talk to your baby's doctor if your 1-month-old:

·         Feeds slowly or doesn't suck well

·         Doesn't seem to focus her eyes or watch things moving nearby

·         Doesn't react to bright lights

·         Seems especially stiff or floppy

·         Doesn't respond to loud sounds

3 months

Milestones

By now, you're basking in the warmth of your baby's delighted smiles! He actively enjoys playtime now.  He imitates your facial expressions. He's starting to babble and mimic the sounds you make.

You no longer need to support his head. When he's on his stomach, he can lift his head and chest.  He can open and close his hands, shake toys, swat at dangling objects, bring his hands to his mouth, and push down with his legs if you hold him in a standing position.

His hand-eye coordination is improving. He can tract objects that interest him and focus intently on faces. He's able to recognize you from across the room!

Your role

 Respond your baby promptly. That helps him feel secure and loved.  

 When he's on his tummy, give him toys and safe objects he can reach for, hold, and explore.

Give your baby lots of loving attention. Talk to him throughout the day. Encourage his efforts to roll over, grab toys, and "talk" with you.

Red flags

Each child develops at his own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your 3-month-old:

·         Can't support his head well

·         Can't grasp objects

·         Can't focus on moving objects

·         Doesn't smile

·         Doesn't react to loud sounds

·         Ignores new faces

·         Seems upset by unfamiliar people or surrounding

4 to 7 months

Milestones

Your baby is fully engaged with the world now: She smiles, laughs, and has babbling “conversations” with you. And she's on the move – by 7 months she can probably roll to her tummy and back again, sit without help, and support her weight with her legs well enough to bounce when you hold her. She uses a raking grasp to pull objects closer and can hold toys and move them from one hand to another.

Your baby is more sensitive to your tone of voice and may heed your warning when you tell her "no." She also knows her name now and turns to look at you when you call her.

Peek-a-boo is a favorite game and she enjoys finding partially hidden objects. She can see farther. If you move a toy in front of her, she'll follow it closely with her eyes. Watching herself in a mirror is sure to delight her.

Your role      

Your baby thrives on the interactions she has with you, so integrate play into everything you do with her.  Shower her with smiles and cuddles, and reply when she babbles to encourage her communication skills. Name the objects you see around you.

Give her lots of opportunities to strengthen her new physical skills by helping her sit and positioning her to play on both her stomach and back.  

Provide a variety of age-appropriate toys and household objects (like wooden spoons or cartons) to explore. Work on establishing a routine for sleeping, feeding, and playtime.

By 6 months, she may be ready to start weaning food.

Red flags

Each child develops at her own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your baby:

·         Seems very stiff or floppy

·         Can't hold her head steady

·         Can't sit on her own

·         Doesn't responds to noises or smiles

·         Isn't affectionate with those closest to her

·         Doesn't reach for objec

 8 to 12 months

Milestones

Look at your baby go! He's become an eager explorer, and it might surprise you how quickly he can get around when he crawls or scoots. He can sit on his own now and grabs anything he can to pull himself up to standing and “cruise” He might even take some solo steps before his first birthday.
His babbling sounds more like real conversation, and you'll hear his
 first words – often "mama" or "dada." Soon he'll talk in simple phrases, but in the meantime he uses gestures to indicate what he wants – or doesn't want! – and pays close attention to your words.

His hands are increasingly nimble: He amuses himself putting things in containers and taking them out again. He can use his thumb and finger in a pincer grasp to eat. Your baby loves to be just like you by combing his own hair, drinking from a cup, and pretending to talk on the phone.

While he may seem outgoing, he's probably reserved around strangers. And when you leave him, he may become distraught – separation anxiety is normal at this age.
Your role

Keep talking to your baby: This is a critical time for his language development. Describe your routine, what you're doing now and what you're going to do next, and what you see. Describing how you think your baby is feeling helps him learn emotions. Keep reading together and play peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, and turn-taking games.

As he gets more active, it's important to provide a safe space to explore. He may not be walking quite yet, but you can help him get ready by holding him in a way that puts weight on his legs or by propping him up against the sofa.

Pay attention to what he enjoys, and give him the freedom to use all his senses to play and discover. Offer him  stacking blocks, empty food containers, and pots and pans to play with.

Praise and reward good behavior. If he gets into mischief, a brief "no" and redirection is usually enough. Although he's too young to understand and obey rules, you can start showing him which behaviors aren't allowed and helping him find more appropriate activities.

Be respectful of his separation anxiety: Build trust by giving him time and always say goodbye before you leave.

Red flags

Each child develops at his own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your baby:

·         Doesn't crawl

·         Seems to drag one side while he's crawling for a month or more

·         Can't stand with support

·         Doesn't try to find objects you've hidden in front of him

·         Doesn't say any words

·         Doesn't use gestures, such as shaking his head "no" and pointing

 
Your baby is on her way to develop various milestones. The following chart suggests age appropriate motor, speech and social milestones. This is an average, each child varies a bit here or there, but persistent delay in milestones is an alarming sign. 

 

Age

Motor

Speech

 

Social

18 months

Can walk alone. Picks up toy without falling over. Gets up/down stairs holding onto rail. Begins to jump with both feet. Can build a tower of 3 or 4 cubes and throw a ball

'Jargon'. Many intelligible words

 

Demands constant mothering. Drinks from a cup with both hands. Feeds self with a spoon. Most children with autism are diagnosed at this age.

2 years

Able to run. Walks up and down stairs 2 feet per step. Builds tower of 6 cubes

Joins 2–3 words in sentences

 

Parallel play. Dry by day

3 years

Goes up stairs 1-foot per step and downstairs 2 feet per step. Copies circle, imitates cross and draws man on request. Builds tower of 9 cubes

Constantly asks questions. Speaks in sentences.

 

Cooperative play. Undresses with assistance. Imaginary companions

4 years

Goes down stairs one foot per step, skips on one foot. Imitates gate with cubes, copies a cross

Questioning at its height. Many infantile substitutions in speech

 

Dresses and undresses with assistance. Attends to own toilet needs

5 years

Skips on both feet and hops. Draws a man and copies a triangle. Gives age

Fluent speech with few infantile substitutions in speech

 

Dresses and undresses alone

6 years

Copies a diamond. Knows right from left and  number of fingers

Fluent speech

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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