Missing Developmental Milestones in Children May Be a Sign of a Birth Injury
Developmental milestones are skills children pick up naturally or through learning processes during a certain span of time. The first milestones are often noticed as early as two months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When a child is missing key developmental milestones, it may be a sign of a larger problem. This often leaves parents looking for the root cause and seeking answers.
If you’ve noticed missing developmental milestones in your child, you may recall an injury your child sustained during delivery. The signs of missing milestones aren’t always immediately apparent. They may become more noticeable as a child reaches 12-18 months.
In an interview with Michael J. Swanson, CEO of Advocate Capital, Inc., Atlanta personal injury lawyer Nelson Tryone discusses the importance of recognizing and addressing missing developmental milestones.
Signs to watch out for
Below is a timeline of developmental milestones to look out for in your child. During this period, if your child is missing any key milestones it’s important to take note of it and discuss it with your child’s physician. These include:
- Social emotion: Smiling at people, self-calming and looking at parents
- Language/communication: Cooing and making gurgling sounds and turning head in direction of sounds
- Cognitive: Paying attention to faces, following objects with eyes, getting fussy when activity doesn’t change
- Physical: Holding head up, pushing away when lying on tummy and smoother movements with arms and legs
- Social emotion: Spontaneous smiling, playing with others, and copying movements and facial expressions
- Language/communication: babbling, copying sounds, crying in different ways to express hunger, pain, and being tired
- Cognitive: Expressing happiness or sadness, responding to affection, reaching for toys with one hand, using hands and eyes together, visually following objects from side to side, closely watching faces, recognizing people and things from a distance
- Physical: Holding up head without support, pushing down on legs when feet are on hard surface, rolling from tummy to back, holding and shaking toys, bringing hands to mouth, pushing out elbows when lying on tummy
- Social emotion: Distinguishing familiar faces from strangers, playing with others, responding to others’ emotions, looking at self in mirror
- Language/communication: Responding to sounds, pronouncing vowel sounds, responding to name, expressing joy and displeasure through sounds, pronouncing consonant sounds
- Cognitive: Looking around at nearby things, bringing things to mouth, expressing curiosity of surroundings, passing objects from one hand to the next
- Physical: Rolling in both directions, sitting up without support, standing with support, rocking back and forth
- Social emotion: Showing fear of strangers, attachment to certain people, has favorite toys
- Language/communication: Understanding “no,” pronouncing things like “mama” or “baba,” copying sounds or actions of others, using fingers to point at things
- Cognitive: Watching path of something that falls, noticing objects being hidden, playing peek-a-boo, putting objects in mouth, smoothly moving objects from one hand to the next, picking up small objects with thumb and index finger
- Physical: Standing up while holding on to something, getting into sitting position without help, pulling up to stand, crawling
- Social emotion: Shyness or nervousness around strangers, crying when parents leave, having favorite things and people, expressing fear in certain situations, may want to hear stories, using sounds and actions to get attention, putting out arm or leg when dressing, playing games
- Language/communication: Responding to requests, using gestures, such as shaking head or waving, making sounds with changes in tone, saying “mama,” “dada” or “uh oh,” trying to say words you say
- Cognitive: Exploring objects, finding hidden things, identifying objects by name, copying gestures, using objects correctly, letting objects go, following directions
- Physical: Sitting up without help, walking while holding on to furniture, taking small steps without holding on, standing without walking
- Social emotion: Handing things to other people, having temper tantrums, showing fear of strangers, showing affection for certain people, playing pretend, pointing, and exploring alone under parent supervision
- Language/communication: Saying single words, shaking head and saying “no,” pointing to things he or she wants
- Cognitive: Identifying purpose of objects, pointing to get attention, showing interest in certain toys, scribbling, following 1-step directions
- Physical: Walking alone, running, walking up steps, undressing, drinking, eating with spoon
Why get legal help?
If you notice something isn’t right and it’s been addressed with your doctor, a further investigation is critical to pinpointing the cause of your child’s missing developmental milestone. For example, an error made by medical professionals during your delivery may have resulted in a serious birth injury. In addition, your doctor may have failed to recognize and address any birth injury risk factors prior to delivery.
No matter what the root cause may be, let the experienced and compassionate legal team at Tyrone Law Firm, PC look into. We offer a free initial consultation. Contact our law office to discuss your matter and explore your legal options.