A child’s mental development is as important as physical development. While a lot of parents focus on the latter – such as the age they walk or the growth of their teeth, little importance is given to mental development. An abnormal mental development not only poses a problem for your child in their infancy but also later on in life. Fortunately, most of the time, our bodies and minds show signs of unusual developments. This is when you have to act by seeking medical and professional help. 

But before you can take action, you need to recognize the signs of abnormal mental development. Abnormal mental development can disguise itself in various forms. Specific symptoms and signs can vary from child to child; depending on the underlying conditions, circumstances, and age. 

You also have to note that minor delays are only normal and should not cause any alarm. Everybody has their pace, while some children can be fast at developing language, cognitive, social/ emotional, and motor skills, others are slow. There is nothing unusual about minor delays. 

However, if there happen to be frequent, significant, and multiple delays in development, they should not be overlooked, but rather identified. Identifying these developmental delays and signs can be perplexing. In this article, we will be discussing these signs at length. 

Difficulty in social interactions 

Children having abnormal mental development can also struggle to interact with others. They may not be able to make friends, follow social cues, and comprehend non-verbal communication. They may also face difficulty when it comes to expressing their own emotions as well as understanding the emotions of those around them. 

Behavioural problem

Children having abnormal mental development may also demonstrate behavioural problems. These problems can include impulsivity, aggression, hyperactivity, and difficulty adhering to instructions. 

Poor attention span

Attention and concentration happen to be two of the most cognitive functions in the mind. If you happen to observe a lack of focus, poor and short attention span in your child, it might be because of underdevelopment of cognitive functions. 

Delayed development milestones

One of the most apparent signs of abnormal mental development is delayed development milestones. These milestones can be linguistic issues such as trouble understanding the language, reciprocating, and difficulty in forming words. Delays in motor development like not walking or crawling at the right age can also contribute to abnormal mental development. 

In all, here are the signs you should look for in infants or children below the age of 5: 

  • The child does not make eye contact and does not respond
  • The child may avoid social interactions  
  • Slow or no development of motor skills 
  • Difficulty in seeing objects with naked eyes
  • Crying excessively; difficulty in calming down
  • Difficulty in responding to pictures and voices
  • Repetitive behavior

Here are some signs indicating unusual mental development in teenagers

  • Feeling sad without any good reason
  • Experiencing difficulty in concentrating 
  • Frequently worrying or feeling guilty
  • Extreme mood swings and disinterest in activities previously loved  
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Low appetite
  • Delayed learning 
  • Disinterest in social interactions
  • Obsessive interests
  • Poor academic performance
  • Poor memory or attention span
  • Impulsivity 

What you can do to help your child

If you observe any of the following unusual mental development in your child, you do not have to panic. Instead, here is what you should do. 

Seek professional help

We know you would only try to help, but there are some things better suited for a professional. The first thing you must do is seek help from a professional if you observe any of these signs. 

Educate yourself

It is vital that you understand your child’s mental health disorder. This does not only include signs, but also potential triggers, and effective treatment options.

Create a supportive environment

It is imperative to devise a supportive environment at home to make things better and easier for your child. Providing your child with emotional support is crucial at this point. 

The bottom line

When it comes to our children’s health and well-being, we cannot turn a blind eye. Hence, it becomes vital as parents to keep a tab on little to significant medical aspects such as unusual mental development for the sake of their health and well-being.

If you have observed the above-mentioned warning signs, it is highly suggested that you contact a health expert to get further clarifications and do the needful just in time.

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