I am sorry your little grand baby has been so affected by reflux. It really affects the entire family doesn't it?
To answer your question-absolutely, any medical condition, including severe gastroesophageal reflux disease can affect developmental skills. The goal of GERD treatment is to reduce pain and discomfort so he is able to coo and smile, at least some of the time.
At each well check up, the pediatrician will assess growth and development. Make sure his parent mention their observations about his slow development and get some advice on the next step. Sometimes it is fine to wait and watch. Other times, the pediatrician will refer a baby to early intervention services for further testing and treatment.
My reflux baby was delayed in her motor skills. She was held 24/7 and a bit floppy. As a result, she was slow to roll over and sit up by herself. Naturally I had a panic attack about it and had a physical therapist/friend look at her! She eventually caught up but it did give me a scare at the time!
If you continue to have concerns about his development you could refer him to his local Infants and Toddlers/Early Intervention program. This is a federallly mandated program available in all states. The program providers will evaluate him to determine if he is in need of services which may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, special instruction or speech therapy.
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