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From the time of conception till eventual death, people go through a large number of developmental stages. For many stages developmental milestones have been described which children are expected to reach at a certain age. However, a wide variety of ages can be considered normal – remember: development is a stage, not an age!
We like the term developmental delay as it indicates that there is simply a delay – fortunately it is mostly possible to rectify the situation and ‘catch up’ with such a delay.
Delays can occur in many different areas of development:
- Motor development
- Cognitive; Language
- Social interactions
Much of our work is related to developmental delays and the causes behind these delays. We have found that often the sensory systems and the neuro-development of the person play a key role and you will find a host of information on these issues throughout this website.
The term Global Developmental Delay (GDD) is used to indicate delays in more than one of these key areas, leading to impairment in quality of life.
The term Neuro-Developmental Delay refers specifically to difficulties related to primitive and postural reflexes.
We are all born with a set of primitive reflexes. If these reflexes are not fully inhibited at the correct time, they remain ‘active’ in the body. This may hinder their replacement by (adult) postural reflexes and this may lead to problems with eye functioning, hand-eye coordination, perceptual skills, learning, behaviour and the ability to deal with a gravity based environment.
Some signs of neuro-developmental difficulties may include mixed handedness above the age of eight, difficulty in learning to ride a bike, motion sickness, difficulty learning to read and write, difficulty in P.E. classes, difficulty learning to tell the time, difficulty learning to swim, speech problems and general coordination problems.