Developmental Delay


About Developmental Delay

Developmental delay is when a child is not meeting their milestones.  A child may have developmental delay for many different reasons or diagnoses.  Developmental delay can occur when children have neuromotor dysfunction or for unknown reasons.  They may have developmental delay in one or several areas.  Delays may occur in gross motor, fine motor, speech, social-emotional and cognitive areas of development.  A pediatric physical therapist can assess your child to determine if they are developing typically or have areas of delay that would benefit from therapy.

Below is a simplified list of age-appropriate gross motor skills.

The checklist may be used by parents to identify whether their child is relatively slow in acquiring certain gross motor skills.

A complete and comprehensive gross motor assessment performed by a pediatric physical therapist is required to diagnose whether your child has a clinical developmental delay.

Newborn to 1 month
  • Lifts head briefly while on tummy
  • Holds head to one side in prone
  • Lifts head when held at shoulder
2 to 3 months
  • Lifts head to 90 degrees briefly when on tummy
  • Lifts chest up when on tummy – weight on forearms
  • Head upright, but bobbing, in sitting
4 to 5 months
  • Lies on tummy with arms straightened
  • Pivots on tummy to reach toys
  • Rolls from back to side
  • Plays with feet to mouth
  • Head steady when sitting with support
  • Turns head in sitting position
  • Sits with minimal support
6 to 7 months
  • Rolls from back tummy
  • Sits independently
  • May crawl backwards
8 to 9 months
  • Gets into hands-and-knees position
  • Moves sitting to tummy
  • Pivots in sitting
  • Standing at furniture
  • Crawls forward
  • Pivots in sitting position
10 to 11 months
  • Stands without support briefly
  • Picks up object from floor from supported standing position
  • Walks with one or both hands held
  • Creeps on hands and feet (bear walk)
12 to 15 months
  • Walks without support
  • Fast walking
  • Walks backward
  • Walks sideways
  • Throws a ball in sitting

Our treament methods

  • Facilitating gross motor milestones
  • Expanding range of joint motion
  • Building and maintaining muscle tone
  • Fostering independence
  • Decreasing the likelihood of loss of range of motion and strength
  • Educating parents in methods to assist their children in their development
  • Providing sensory stimulation
  • Improving posture
  • Improving gait