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What are paediatric delayed milestones?

Milestones are the predicted points for when a child reaches a significant stage in their development such as walking or talking. A delayed milestone is when a child has not reached a significant stage at the predicted age.

What causes delayed milestones in children?

There can be many different causes of delayed milestones such as genetic problems, problems during pregnancy or birth, and problems during early infancy or childhood such as infection or head injury. Often there is no identifiable cause.

Gait re-education and mobility exercises between parallel bars, under supervision from a neurological physiotherapistAbove: Gait re-education and mobility exercises between parallel bars, under supervision from a neurological physiotherapist

What are the symptoms of delayed milestones in children?

There are no symptoms but there are signs to look out for such as:
  • Cannot focus on an activity
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Has limp body posture
  • Holds head unusually
  • Talks very loudly or very softly

What can physiotherapy do to help children with delayed milestones?

Physiotherapy treatment aims to promote a child’s independence and ability to reach physical milestones. Treatment will be specific to a child’s needs, age and abilities and our team of specialist physiotherapists will often use fun games and activities to help promote normal development. We liaise closely with parents, carers and teachers to help them understand the child’s needs and how they can help promote future independence.

The benefits of physiotherapy are:
  • Achievement of physical milestones such as sitting, crawling and standing
  • Improved independence in activities of daily living
  • Improved posture, muscle strength, balance and coordination
  • Improved confidence


Delayed milestones can severely affect a child’s development so it is important to that treatment is used to help a child to reach the right milestones at the right times. Physiotherapy can help to speed up paediatric delayed milestones.

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