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KellyB

Is Your Child On Track?

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Timeline of Childhood Milestones
2 Months Smiles at the sound of your voice
3 Months Raises head and chest when lying on stomach
Grasps objects
Smiles at other people
4 Months Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds
6 Months Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back
Moves objects from hand to hand
7 Months Responds to own name
Finds partially hidden objects
9 Months Sits without support
Crawls
12 Months Walks with or without support
Says at least one word
Enjoys imitating people
18 Months Walks independently
Drinks from a cup
Says at least 15 words
2 Years Runs
Speaks in two-word sentences
Follows simple instructions
Begins make-believe play
3 Years
Climbs well
Speaks in multiword sentences
Sorts objects by shape and color
4 Years
Gets along with people outside the family
Draws circles and squares
Rides a tricycle

Early Intervention Is Key

In the U.S., 2% of children have a serious developmental disability, and many more have moderate delays in language and/or motor skills. Yet, less than half of children with developmental delays are identified before starting school.

That needs to change, says Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD, of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. "There are studies that are now reporting that children who have intervention early do better than children who do not have an intervention," she tells WebMD. Appropriate interventions include:
  • Physical therapy for gross motor delays
  • Occupational therapy for fine motor delays
  • Hearing evaluation and speech therapy for language delays
  • Special preschool programs for children with autism spectrum disorders
"Early intervention not only improves the child's functioning, but improves the relationship between parent and child and the parent's understanding of the condition," Yeargin-Allsopp says. "All in all, it appears that when an intervention is in place there are benefits to the child and society in the long term, such as better performance in school and less contact with the juvenile justice system."

Language delays are of particular concern to a child's academic potential. "If children have significant language delays at age 2, there's a chance of learning problems later on," Bailey says. So how early should you take action? "Even at 12 months, if you have a child that's really quiet, that's not babbling or doesn't respond to your voice, get an evaluation."

How Parents Can Help

The experts we spoke with suggest the following tips for encouraging your child's development:

Gross Motor Skills
  • Place infants on their tummies while awake to develop neck and back muscles
  • Create a safe home environment and put babies on the floor to explore
  • Give older children time outside where they can run and jump
Fine Motor Skills
  • Provide toys with different textures that encourage babies to explore with their fingers
  • Provide age-appropriate puzzles, blocks, paper, and crayons
  • Encourage older babies to feed themselves
Language Skills
  • Play music for newborns to stimulate hearing
  • Talk to your child
  • Read to your child
  • Name objects as you point to pictures in a book
Social Interaction
  • Laugh and smile with your baby
  • Limit television and play with your child
"Social interaction is more important than we realized in the past," Yeargin-Allsopp tells WebMD. "Don't leave children off by themselves. Being engaged with your child on a daily basis is very important."



Excerpt from this article at webmd.com

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Imagine that we have to memorize ALL those milestones on medschool (when on Pediatrics), LOL smile.gif But it's cute to imagine.

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I hate these kinds of lists because children develop at such different levels. I mean, sure, there's a general time table, but there could be a good couple months between varying developments. My son did just about everything late, but is a perfect, normal, happy almost 4 year-old. My daughter on the other hand, is doing everything early, a couple months before she's "supposed to" (being the second child helps too).

 

So while these are good guidelines, I wouldn't suggest a parent stress too much about when their child does what.

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^ Totally agreed. People get so caught up on how "well" their child is developing that it ends up stressing them out.

 

My daughter started crawling at 4 1/2 months and taking steps at 6 1/2 months. My son started crawling at 5 months and didn't really take steps until almost 10 months...but he started climbing everything by the time he was 6 months whereas my daughter didn't have an interest to climb until almost 1 1/2 years old.

 

While it's good to make sure that your child is progressing...looking at the list and thinking that your child is behind because they don't do everything is not good. In fact, children don't have "dependable" milestones until around 3-4 years of age where all of their developments are more predictable.

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These milestones are a guide for doctors - it's like - if your kid isn't rolling after 6 months, there might be a delay on the development.

 

It doesn't mean that your kid has to START rolling when he/she is 6 months - she can start a bit earlier or a bit later.

 

The severe delay is what is worrysome, not the early beginning - because growth and neural development follows a basic pattern.

 

Like that, if a kid is 9 months old and doesn't roll and doesn't babble , it might be something wrong, because he/she isn't able to do things that supposedly babies with 6 and 4 months already do.

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Originally Posted by Lia View Post
These milestones are a guide for doctors - it's like - if your kid isn't rolling after 6 months, there might be a delay on the development.

 

It doesn't mean that your kid has to START rolling when he/she is 6 months - she can start a bit earlier or a bit later.

 

The severe delay is what is worrysome, not the early beginning - because growth and neural development follows a basic pattern.

 

Like that, if a kid is 9 months old and doesn't roll and doesn't babble , it might be something wrong, because he/she isn't able to do things that supposedly babies with 6 and 4 months already do.

I've had friends who's nine month-olds never rolled at all, and the only issue there was that they were simply more subdued.

 

You're right in that these guidelines help doctors detect a problem early, but even then, they have to take a "wait and see" approach to tell if there's really an issue.

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