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Taipei City Hospital


Early Identification of Developmental Delay in Children

The developmental indicators in the health booklet show the manifestation of movement of children which should appear at the various preschool stages. Physicians will also gain an understanding of the children’s developmental status by means of observation of the manifestation of some simple movements every time the child visits pediatrics for regular physical examinations.

Wang Zhong-hao, attending physician of the Pediatric Department in the Heping Fuyou Branch of Taipei City Hospital, says that the importance of the developmental indicators lies in the fact that they not only indicate children’s explicit movement ability, but also help to reveal their nutritional and educational progress, and reflect the developmental status of their brain cells, skeleton and muscles. During the children’s developmental stage, if physicians or parents can identify signs of developmental delays as early as possible, earlier interventional measures may be adopted.

In order to know if your child is growing up at a good pace, parental accompaniment is very important. Parents should spend sufficient time to interact with children, and record their developmental milestones. Refer to the developmental indicators to engage in similar exercises, thereby understanding whether they can achieve the abilities listed in the growth scale. By spending time with children, parents will also discover the unique differences of each child, and of course their strengths.

Developmental delays may improve through early intervention. Early diagnosis and treatment will reduce the heavy burdens of most parents and on society. Early identification of development delays relies on the alertness of physicians and parents. Dr. Wang Zhong-hao makes an appeal that parents shall take their children to pediatrics for regular health examinations according to the health booklet. In addition, physicians should be vigilant, and development assessment made frequently when following up on high risk children (such as premature babies and children with congenital deformity or previous history of encephalitis, meningitis, encephalorrhagia, hydrocephalus, cerebral anoxia, and so on), as these children have a higher probability of suffering from developmental delays later in their developmental process.