Blogging with Dr. Susan


Blogging with Dr. Susan

Global Developmental Delay

Question: This is about an infant one year old with global developmental delay due to epilepsy from the age of three months. Complete control from 11 months. Sitting with support. Hearing sound well. Not responding by turning head toward the direction of sound. According to Docs seeing dim light and following light. Unable to recognize mother. 


Thank you so much for bringing this difficult situation to my attention and I will do my best to give you some tricks of the trade!  Take this information as if it were a long but worthwhile way of looking at your child’s temperament and think about experimental ways of finding  “your child” and your personality and the family they’re growing up in…..   You were a child once ….. Remember?  So take seriously and with compassion all aspects of how your child will need to learn and survive and be part of “family” regardless of the disability and confusion about what your child needs and the serious nature of what you are facing.   Professional helpers are also important through schools and Head Start and other day care and home care settings. Modify your concerns. Make YOU HAPPIER and more responsive to the infant in your life, and that infant who needed help with their arms and legs, poor head control can changes direction.  This is essential.  Do not wait.

Eye gazing, continuous touch, body holding and wrapping, shielding and speech-talk also help!  All these are important for your situation and I hope you will find the right person beside yourself to help with your concerns and your future enjoyment!  Watch and enjoy feeding for many reasons ...including eye gazing, head lifting, warmth and fun!  

Start out thinking, “all children have assets” and these assets must have internal controls that process in one way or another with the help of professionals and parents…unique characteristics…so infants have working temperaments with unique personalities and brain development over time.  Child development and accommodations for that development allow infants to start to learning and to think.

Physical love and attachment are critical to infant learning at all stages and ages… here are some examples:

SING! Yes, sing and talk.  Move your arms and legs on or near your child’s body, because this is one-way infants are attracted to looking around and making sounds and noises.  Even crying and cuddling are tactile surprises for infants with hearing.  You should ignore problems and focus on touch such as moving arms and legs, cuddling, talking and making eye contact!  There’s more too!  Body contact that feels motion relaxes their body and improves the urge to move around.  Make contact activities to encourage growth and increase images and sounds that stimulate the brain.  These things will help the child react to you, loving, comforting, but with difficulty ….it will become clear what  “existing behaviors” will mean for the future.  You might spend time writing down how your child reacts to all the ups and downs. Use quiet humming to keep calm and smile.   For severe disabilities, changing directions and movement along with changing positions is essential along with list of ways for family members to repeat sounds, hum, turn to the infant and gaze, turn child over and the same sounds each day, all times of the day and night, some humming, some self voices that are clear. Use the touch that everyone in fact needs, more or less constantly.  Wrapped, or unwrapped, touch coupled with cuddling or your own type of touch that is happy and gentle.  All of these things help facilitate an understanding between child and parent or caregiver.

 Keep moving your child’s body… a lot to deal with but it will be worth the happy thoughts and the attention received by your child or children!

 Finally the child will begin to listen, respond or even ignore.  Yes! Even ignore!  This is a good thing, so you keep on, making sounds, smiling and sitting back, and redirecting the activity the child so dearly needs!   Or move away and they will grunt or laugh and more.  It is important to start as soon as each child or children is diagnosed.  There are so many factors that you think you should do such as play and therapy engagement one day at a time, but that is not the case, instead there many parts, some coming and some going, and some to move and communicate!    

Many factors have to do with personality and movement, especially temperament, so the chances are great that you can enjoy your child and find good ways to encourage your child from a variety of movements and enhance movement and personality, behaviors, and much more.  Direct movement and other activities help enhance the chances that each child and parent, while learning, can find their way but it may take a long time so be patient. Families, like yours, are longing for help with their children so they can thrive and develop!

Good luck and I look forward to talking to you via email soon!  

Dr. Susan Turben
Turben Developmental Services