18 answers

Does Anyone Have Experience with Delayed Physical Development?

Hello everyone,
My youngest daughter is 6-1/2 months old and is seemingly having trouble reaching different physical milestones. She is nowhere near able to sit and has very poor upper and lower body control. I was told by her pediatrician and a pediatric neurologist that she may have too much muscle tone which is not allowing her to gain control of her body. She also "scissors" her legs (crosses them at the ankle), has occasional stiff legs and does not stand flat-foot but rather crosses her ankles. She also has little control of her upper body as well - she is spastic with her arms and very shaky when trying to grab at something. The doctors seem to think she should be much more stable for her age.
I was also told that she may just be delayed developmentally with how the brain forms and scariest of all . . . she may have cerebral palsy. But they want to wait to ocnfirm until she is 9 months old with and MRI . . . scary!!!
We have been asked to start physical therapy and basically wait to see what happens between now and 9 months of age.
I never had any of these problems with my older 2 children, and am wondering if anyone out there has any advice or experience with something of the same nature.
Thank you!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone who responded. This is such a supportive group, and really helps in times of need.
We have gone to physical therapy evaluation, and have our first session later today. They would like my daughter to be seen once or twice a week, and we will hopefully see improvement.

Featured Answers

Why don't you start physical theraphy now by massaging her little body, streching her arms and legs morning,evening and after she has had a warm bath before bed.

More Answers

I have 3 children and I am an acupuncturist. I would highly recommend you call Life Force Chiropractic at ###-###-####. Talk to Dr. Heidi. They are neurological chiros who could probably help you with an earlier, non-invasive diagnosis and they are pediatric specialists. How was your birth? It may have a lot to do with it if there was any intervention or suction or forceps etc....Good Luck!


My son was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 8 mo. It does sound like your daughter has many signs. Did you happen to bank her cord blood? I don't know if you've seen the news lately, but CBS 13 did a story on my son the week of Thanksgiving and his story is also on CBR cord blood registry's website under breaking news. We took him back to Duke University and he was one of the first children with CP to have a re-infusion done with his own cord blood we have seen a huge improvement. You might want to watch the video clip. I know it is scary when something is wrong but there is hope and the sooner you start her in therapy the better chance she will have to catch up on her milestones!

Hi J.,

I have helped several children who were considered delayed in their physical development. Very frequently, birth trauma causes increased pressure on the nervous system and can mimic other neurological diseases. I would recommend checking the International Chiropractic Pediatrics ____@____.com to find a qualified Chiropractor in your area. They will have a conservative approach that can have dramatic results, without drugs, surgery or MRI's.

If your daughter doesn't have any improvement then you can feel more at ease about putting her through the MRI when it is time.

Please don't delay seeking Chiropractic care. Your daughter will grow rapidly the first year and it is critical to get her help as soon as you can.

Good luck with her and I know you and your family will do the best for all of you.

Dr. G. M., DC

I have been working with children with special needs for about 10 years now. I am not saying your child has special needs, but it does sound like you have some concerns about her physical development and what you're seeing differently from that of your two other children. I added inforation below of a resource that may be helpful to you if you live in Santa Clara County. And at the bottom, I added a resource for San Mateo County. The Early Start Prevention Program may be able to do an intake interview and proceed with an assessment where your daughter will be seen by a multidisciplinary team. The Early Start is for children from birth to 36 months and if it's possible that your daughter may be able to get help sooner than later. Or they can provide you with more resources.

Early Start
For more information contact your nearest San Andreas Regional Center intake worker at:
Santa Clara County: ###-###-####
South Santa Clara and San Benito County* ###-###-####

For information on Early Start in Santa Clara County call:

or if in San Mateo County call:
San Mateo
3130 La Selva Drive, Suite 202
San Mateo, CA 94403
Telephone: ###-###-####

Hope this helps and goo luck!

Hi J.,
I am sorry to hear your little girl is having problems. I would highly recommend you to take her to your chiropractor if she/he works with babies. Chiropractic care is a little different for children than for adults, so you need somebody that specializes in pediatric chiropractic.
It sounds like she could benefit from some cranial work. It helps the nervous system function and helps the brain to function at a more optimal level. Once the nervous system is addressed it will in turn allow better muscle development and coordination.
The reason I know all this, is that I am a chiropractor myself. My both boys have been adjusted from birth. I've also worked with cerebral palsy kids and autistic children and they all benefited from chiropractic care: better gait, more stable sensory and motor skills. Here is a website that discusses a lot of conditions that can be addressed with chiropractic. It is very safe and the babies/kids love it too!

If you have a chiropractor make sure you talk to him/her about helping your daughter. You can always call me if you want to talk, ask questions, or have me take a look at your daughter's condition. The earlier you start the treatment the more chance you have to get good results.
All the best,

V. Tali DC
chiropractic care at your home

Hi J.,

I am a Mom of 5 beautiful children....all grown up now. My last child is now 21 and has cerebral palsy and began with many of the same things you are writing about. When he was 4 months old, I noticed that he had wandering eyes, lack of head control on his tummy, and, too, wasn't sitting like his siblings had done at the same age. From the fact that he was born in distress 5 weeks early, I was keenly aware that he might have problems from lack of oxygen....therefore cerebral palsy. Doctors kept telling me that he might have motor development delay because he was a preemie, but there was more. I look back in early pictures and he always had his fists closed. He would grasp a toy and lose it, then be unable to retrieve it. When he would cry, he would arch his back....sometimes arching out of his baby seat. I also noticed the same scissoring of his feet/legs as you describe with your child. His legs had lack of tone while his arms would draw up in contracting.

While every child is different and the degrees of cerebral palsy are different with each child, I don't think you are being overly-concerned about your baby. I, too, had to wait for the official diagnosis....when my son was 10 months old. I was told at the time that the basic reflexes a baby has at birth disappear by 10 months and if they have a disability, they will still be present. So we had to wait after going to all his dr. appts. and being told he was delayed. Hang in there. PT is a good idea.....we've had our share and it helps in the long run.

If your baby's diagnosis is cerebral palsy, it isn't the end of your world....just the beginning of a different world. That's one of the hardest thing about the diagnosis of any disability....your dreams of a normal child die and the dreams for your special child begin. You can experience the same grief that people experience when they lose a child....although you haven't lost your baby, but the challenge of loving your new baby has just begun.

It's a real journey....just know that I have gone through 21+ years and survived with a beautiful son who has graduated from HS...in an electric wheelchair and with LOTS of special ed adaptations. He is now studying computer graphics as he still doesn't have good hand control. As his mother, I am still there for him every day dealing with his care.

If the diagnosis is CP(...whatever level),

1.immediately contact California Children's Services (CCS-which can provide therapies-PT,OT,Speech-, and equipment if needed)

2. the Regional Center for your area(a source for monies/services for equipment not provided by CCS or med insurances)

3. around 1 1/2 yo, an Early Intervention Program with the school district.

We were in the Sacramento area for many years, then up in Tahoe. Those services are available all over California. I remember some early advice given to me by a mom of a special needs child....."there are lots of services and money available out there to help you, but you will have to be proactive!" I found that so true. Now there are support groups for moms/dads and siblings. Take advantage of everything you can. Also you can contact In Home Support Services (IHSS) through the County in which you live and apply to receive monetary compensation for caring for your child. Also you can contact Social Security for SSDI (Disability Insurance) which you can receive a monthly income for your child with a disability.

I send my best to you and God bless you. R.

I am sorry for you going through a hard time with you baby. I just wanted to add that my little sister, she is now 15 years old also had a hard time holding herself, specialy standing up and therefore learning to walk when she was a baby, I am talking of when she was around your baby's age maybe even when she was older than yours. She then went to therapies where the therapiest put her into sessions of standing up in periods of time with some inforcement on her legs to make her stand and make her legs exercised to get stronger. It took some months of therapy but she finally walked and I can tell you that she is a healthy girl now. I really think you should wait and think that every baby develops at his/her own pase and that you baby could just be a little behind compared to other babies in terms of movility and strength but that she might finally get there. Also, work with your doctors recomendations and see what happends.

I will pray!

Why don't you start physical theraphy now by massaging her little body, streching her arms and legs morning,evening and after she has had a warm bath before bed.

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