Maturational delay is a fairly common developmental disorder that usually affects children in the early stages of life. Basically, it consists of a delay in the normal course of development that affects several areas, from thought, language and communication to motor skills or even growth. In this way, the child with a delay maturational development is chronologically lower than that which corresponds to his age, which makes him behave like a younger child.
In most cases, developmental delay begins to be noticed from the earliest years, although sometimes it usually goes unnoticed until about two or three years old, when parents realize that their child he is not able to do the same things as his peers. That is why it is so important to stay alert to any signs that may indicate an alteration in child development, since in this way treatment can be started as soon as possible.
Signs that alert the presence of a maturational delay in the first year of life
- Begins to crawl after 12 months or even later, when most children of his age are already learning to walk.
- It takes a year or more for him to start babbling his first words.
- He shows no interest in showing or teaching toys and things that interest him.
- He is unable to react when called by name or shown objects that should pique interest.
- Does not recognize familiar sounds such as parent’s voice, doorbell ringing, or dog barking of the house.
- He cannot imitate actions, sounds or rhythms, even if they are very simple.
- He is oblivious and disinterested in what s toys and games.
Signs that alert the presence of a maturational delay from the second year of life
- When the other children are already walking, he is just beginning to take his first steps.
- He is unable to integrate with other children his age to play.
- Does not recognize drawings , objects or photos of people nearby.
- He does not show interest in imaginary games since his imagination is at a very incipient level.
- He is not able to follow the thread of a long conversation, or a children’s story because he quickly loses concentration.
- He cannot follow simple rules, nor orders that involve more than one execution.
- He is unable to answer questions that are too elaborate as he tends to have a very small vocabulary.
- He does not often express his emotions or his physical state in words, so it is difficult to know how he feels.
- He cannot concentrate on one specific activity for more than 10 minutes.
- His games do not have a symbolic character since he is unable to abstract from the specific form or function of an object or toy.
How do children with developmental delay evolve?
In general, the majority of children with developmental delay They usually progress and reach normal development for their age, as long as they receive adequate stimulation. In fact, in almost all cases the maturational delay is temporary, since it only lasts for the first 3 or 4 years of the child.
However, when it is not treated, maturational delay can be accentuated and remain throughout childhood, and even during adolescence and youth. In these cases the school also plays a fundamental role since if the child is labeled as a child with school delay, it is likely that far from overcoming the alteration, the symptoms will be accentuated.