Developmental delay refers to the delay in the development of a child as normally expected at his/her age. This delay in development may be seen in one or more areas. The areas where a child may show developmental delay include speech & language, gross/fine motor activities, thinking & understanding skills, social & emotional development. When a child shows delayed development in a majority of or in all of the areas mentioned above, it is referred to as global developmental delay. The first three years of a child’s life are crucial to development. Every child develops at his/her own pace. However, there are average time periods when a child is expected to achieve certain milestones. When a child is not able to achieve these developmental milestones within the time period expected at his/her age, he is said to show developmental delay.
When a child is not able to do the following activities within the given timeframe, there is a developmental delay and medical help is needed:
At 6 months: Child does not roll over – both in the front and back, achieve head control, sit up with support and start to babble
At 9 months: Child does not crawl, sit without support, respond to familiar names
At 12-15 months: Child does not say 1-2 words, stand without support or start to walk
At 2 years: Child does not speak at least 10-15 words or can’t walk.
What Causes Developmental Delay?
The exact cause of developmental delay in a child may be hard to pinpoint, but among the many reasons for a developmental delay, the major ones are premature birth, complications during pregnancy, genetic disorders like Down’s syndrome or loss of hearing. Developmental delay can also be a symptom of autism spectrum disorders.
Homeopathic Medicines for Developmental Delay
This system of medicine is highly safe and effective in treating diseases affecting children, including developmental delay. The medicines for developmental delay are natural and therefore, free from side effects. They are selected as per constitutional symptoms help overcome developmental delay to a large extent to aid normal development of the child. Delayed development, both at the mental and physical level, can be treated wonderfully well with Homeopathy. These are selected after taking into account the smallest detail of the case. Medicines for developmental delay that I have found most effective in children are Calcarea Carb, Calcarea Phos, Baryta Carb, Tuberculinum, Carcinosin, Aethusa and Silicea.
1. Calcarea Carb – One of the Top Medicines for Developmental Delay
Calcarea Carb is one of the top grade medicines for developmental delay. I have seen excellent results in children with delayed development after they were given Calcarea Carb. This medicine is most suited for children having a fatty, fair and flabby constitution. Children who need Calcarea Carb are slow in learning to walk and have slow dentition. They tend to be obese, with a big head and large belly. The skin often looks pale and chalky in children prescribed Calcarea Carb, one of the popular medicines for developmental delay. There are other symptoms as well: the children are sluggish, dull and lethargic. Fontanelles, especially the anterior one, may also show delayed closure in children who will respond well to this remedy. Another peculiar symptom is the tendency to perspire excessively, mainly on the scalp, neck, and chest.
2. Calcarea Phos – Top Rated Medicine for Developmental Delay
Natural medicine Calcarea Phos is among the best medicines for developmental and extremely useful in treating children with slow mental and physical growth. I have seen children make up for the delay in reaching their developmental milestones amazingly fast with the help of this medicine. Calcarea Phos is majorly effective in delicate, thin, emaciated children with noticeably slow progress. These children are late in learning to walk and talk, the teeth develop slowly and the posterior fontanelle may be slow to close. The skull is soft, thin and brittle in such instances, another key symptom to look out for before deciding on this medicine. The digestive system is also weak in such cases where Calcarea Phos works as the most suitable among medicines for developmental delay. The child that needs Calcarea Phos wants to be nursed all the time. Colic and vomiting post feeding are also observed. The child may suffer chronic diarrhea with watery, offensive and greenish stool.
3. Baryta Carb – For Developmental Delay due to Trauma or Vaccination
Baryta Carb is also one of the known medicines for developmental delay that has made a mark. In my clinical practice, I have seen children respond exceedingly well to it. The medicine shows excellent results in children who are dwarfish, both mentally and physically. These children often appear dull minded and are slow learners where speech and walking are concerned. Baryta Carb is one of the most effective medicines for development delay to use in such cases and has shown remarkable results where children show a marked fear of strangers as well. Baryta Carb is also majorly useful when the child shows retarded development after trauma or vaccination. Profuse sweat with offensive odor, mainly on the feet, may be present along with the above-mentioned symptoms in such instances of developmental delay. Baryta Carb is also one of the most preferred medicines for developmental delay in children who suffer from chronic tonsillitis attacks.
4. Tuberculinum and Carcinosin – For low immunity & Autism
Natural medicines Tuberculinum and Carcinosin are also popular medicines for developmental delay that have shown satisfactory results. Tuberculinum works well in children who are weak, emaciated and mentally deficient due to retarded development. Like in all developmental delay cases, they learn to speak late. However, they have a tendency to catch a cold and suffer from recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. Excessive sweating, especially at night, may be noticed in children where Tuberculinum will be the ideal option.
Carcinosin is equally effective in children with arrested growth. A child who needs Carcinosin would have very low immunity and thus, suffer from recurrent severe infections. Children in such cases of developmental delay have difficulty in falling asleep. Therefore, where the child needs to be carried around or rocked to sleep or where he specifically sleeps on the abdomen, Carcinosin is the most effective medicine to give. Carcinosin is also the medicine for autistic disease in children with development delay. Such cases show marked hyperactivity and restless behavior.
5. Silicea and Aethusa – For Developmental Delay in Children
Silicea and Aethusa are two top rated medicines that have shown marked improvement in children with developmental delay. Among them, Silicea is one of the most effective medicines for developmental delay that works best in children with a large head and thin legs. The sutures and fontanelles are slow to close in these children. Other key constitutional features that prompt use of Silicea are – emaciation, defective assimilation, distended abdomen, delay in learning to talk and walk. In addition to this, worm infestation may also be present in children who are prescribed Silicea.
Aethusa is medicine for developmental delay majorly recommended in infants who are unable to hold their head. These children are highly restless and cry too much. Another guiding symptom for use of Aethusa as the best among medicines for developmental delay is the child’s inability to digest milk. The child is intolerant to milk and may vomit curdled milk if fed. Weakness, exhaustion and sleepiness may result. These children may also get diarrhea after taking milk.