Pediatric Services Pediatric Services: An intervention team serving children with developmental delays.

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Does my child need help?

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Julie Loe

Question:

My daughter just turned one. She has been sitting without support since she was six months old, and now she walks alone pretty well. The problem is that she is very inactive except for walking. She has never rolled onto her tummy or gotten into a sitting or standing position by herself, or crept or crawled or scooted. She hates being on her tummy, and has been rolling immediately onto her back since the day she turned four months old. When she falls while walking, she lies on the floor as if helpless. In all other ways she seems normal. Does she need help?

Answer:

YES!

If your daughter were tested on a standard developmental assessment, she would score at around the 24-28 WEEK area.

You noted that she "has never rolled onto her tummy or gotten into a sitting or standing position by herself, or crept or crawled or scooted. She hates being on her tummy, and has been rolling immediately onto her back since the day she turned four months old. When she falls while walking, she lies on the floor as if helpless"

Rolling segmental is a 24- week skill.

Other skills in this range include:

Reaches for toys while on her tummy -- 24 week skill
Pivots on her tummy -- 28 week skill
Get into crawl position (rocking only) -- 28 week skill
Crawling -- 32 week skill
Pull herself to standing -- 36 week skill
Let self to floor with control from stand and pick up a toy from the floor while standing -- 36 week skill

All of these things that you say she has never done are called transitions movements. They are the twisting and turning that gets us from one position to another. I am not at all surprised that "when she falls while walking, she lies on the floor as if helpless". She is "stuck". She does not have the movements that she needs to get out of this position.

I most highly recommend that you request a referral for an Early Start evaluation from your pediatrician. This is a free service for children under age 3 who qualify. If your pediatrician does not know about this or you want you can make this referral yourself you can call. Anyone can make this referral. If you tell me what state you live in I can give you the Early Start contact person and phone number.

Also, I would not put her in stand anymore at all. She has the potential to really hurt herself since she does not have the movements to stop a fall, lower herself to the ground safely or move when she gets there.

She will be very frustrated if you no longer put her in sit, but she MUST learn to get there without you placing her. A pediatric physical therapist will help you with this.

Your daughter is is letting you know that she needs help, by being "very inactive ", and "hates being on her tummy, and has been rolling immediately onto her back " but when on her back "she lies on the floor as if helpless".

Please do not wait to call for an appointment assessment.

Best Wishes,
Julie Loe

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Last modified: January 26, 2013