Growth and Development are two complementary processes peculiar to children, which influence the quality of their lives in the future. As a 'small family' norm is the accepted pattern, the intellectual and physical capabilities of children become important.
Advances in Perinatal Care and the establishement of Neonatal Nurseries have improved the survival chances of many newborns that would otherwise have succumbed. This tends to increase the chances of childhood developmental delay, speech problems, behavioral problems, attention deficit hyperkinetic disorder and scholastic backwardness. Hence special care/intensive care services that offer neonatal follow-up and early stimulation services should be mandatory.
The role of Development Therapist is to detect whether the child has any developmental delay or not. Developmental delay means the child should attain the developmental milestones at correct interval periods i.e. for instance, the social smile comes at around 2 months after birth. Head control comes around 4 months. Sitting erect at 8 months. Standing at 1 year.
For normal term babies, the assessment should be given at 45 days, 3.5 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year and 1.5 years.
For pre-term/LBW babies, the assessment should be given on the 15th day of birth (Baby Massage) and then at 1.5 months, 2.5 months, 3.5 months, 4.5 months, 5.5 months, 6.5 months, 9 months, 1 year and 1.5 years.