Red Flags in Gross Motor development from 0-5 years
Development of gross motor skills in children follows a similar pattern. For instance, a child should be able to roll by 6 months and walk independently by 18 months. If parents notice that their child is still not reaching the appropriate milestone, it is a warning sign, or red flag, and the child should be brought to medical attention. The delay in milestone may signify something ominous and bringing the child to medical attention early ensures no child gets left behind.
Early intervention for children is essential once a condition is suspected or diagnosed. The child’s brain is still developing hence it is the best time to teach a skill or to change a behavior. Late diagnosis or parents’ denial in a condition may result in late intervention, which will prevent the child from reaching his/her maximum potential due to a smaller window to teach skills or create changes.
The table below shows the red flags, or warning signs of delayed gross motor development, with reference to the Queensland Government Early Intervention Referral Guide for Children 0-5 Years. If your child shows any signs of delayed stated in the table, it is highly recommended to bring your child to medical attention or to paediatric physiotherapist where a full gross motor developmental assessment can be carry out.
|Age||Red Flags||Red Flags at any age|
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What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder that happens in infancy or early childhood. Cerebral palsy is non contagious (does not spread to other people) and non progressive (does not worsen over time).
What are the different types of cerebral palsy?
The traditional classification of cerebral palsy is according to the type of muscle impairment and the number of limbs involved.
Classification according to muscle impairment:
- most common type of cerebral palsy
- reduced ability to stretch muscle
- usually due to damaged motor cortex of the brain
- presented as increase tremors and/or low muscle tone
- caused by damage to cerebellum, hind brain that controls coordination
- presented with mixed muscle tone
- caused by damage to the corpus striatum
Classification according to number of limbs involved:
(1) Monoplegia: only 1 limb involved
(2) Hemiplegia: one entire side of body affected
(3) Triplegia: 3 limbs involved
(4) Diplegia: predominantly lower limbs involved
(5) Quadriplegia: all 4 limbs involved
Hence, for instance, if a child has increase muscle tone in all 4 limbs, he/she will be classified as a spastic quadriplegia.
What causes cerebral palsy?
There are numerous risk factors that are related to cerebral palsy. Below is a summary some of the risk factors:
- Low birth weight
- Asphyxia during delivery (lack of oxygen)
- congential malformation
- congential or perinatal infection
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Viral Infection (TORCH – Toxoplasmosis, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes simplex virus)
- Multiple pregnancies
- Injury to the brain in first year of life
- cerebral infection
- acquired brain injury
- infantile spasm