Tots who are too slow to crawl at 9 months 'struggle at school'

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London, Feb 17 (ANI): A new British study has found a link between children's performances at nine months and five years of age - tots who do not achieve key developmental targets at nine months may find it hard to cope up with studies at school.

The Millennium Cohort Study saw researchers from London University's Institute of Education analysing the progress of 14,853 children, born in 2000 and 2001, from birth to five, to come up with their conclusions.

It was found that toddlers who were slow to develop their motor skills at nine months were significantly more likely to be behind in their cognitive development, and also likely to be less well behaved at five years of age.

A number of vocabulary, spatial reasoning and picture tests were used to assess the cognitive development of kids at the age of five and their results compared with those from separate assessments years earlier.

The results at five were strongly related to the babies' abilities in tests for gross motor development, such as crawling, and fine motor development like holding objects with their fingers, at nine months. The researchers also discovered that children who are read to every day at three are likely to be to be good in a wide range of subjects by the age of five.

Children who failed at nine months to reach four key milestones in gross motor development, relating to sitting unaided, crawling, standing and taking their first walking steps, were found to be five points behind on average in cognitive ability tests taken at age five, compared to those who passed the milestones.

"Delay in gross and fine motor development in a child's first year, which affects one in 10 children, was significantly associated with delayed cognitive development at age five. Delay in gross motor development also has a significant impact on the child's behavioural adjustment at five," the Guardian quoted Ingrid Schoon, professor of human development and social policy at the institute, who led the research, as saying.

"This finding highlights the importance of early screening for developmental delay at ages under one year, as a tool to promote positive child development," the report said. (ANI)

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