This post is sponsored and made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. All opinions are my own. Four Important Types of Developmental Milestones
The triplets turned eight-years-old the other day. From two-pound micro-preemies, they are now closer to being teens than they are to being babies. Throughout the journey so far of raising them, their developmental milestones have been a main focus. While children may reach developmental milestones at their own pace, knowing what and when to look for them is an important part of parenting. The triplets didn’t reach any development milestones according to the typical stages and timeframes. However, because I knew what to look out for, I was always able to address the absence of their developmental milestones with a quick and proactive approach. They spent their 8th birthday celebrating at home with simple decorations and a cake, accompanied by immediate family and their team of therapists.
While I certainly was not an expert, I focused on these four important areas of developmental milestones.
- Movement/Physical Development
As children age, we obviously look at the physical aspects of their growth, as it is the most obvious. We look at height, weight, and and physical abilities in accordance to age. Additionally, their fine motor skills and gross motor skills are developing at rapid speeds. The CDC has made it so much easier for parents to monitor children’s developmental milestones with their Milestones Tracker App! It’s available in both iOS and Android.
- Language/Communication Milestones
As a parent of children with Autism and as well as being an ABA Therapist for children with Autism, I have learned that early intervention is the best chance children have at catching up. From making sounds, to words, to sentences and conversations, a child’s verbal skills can be an early indicator of other delays. How do you know if your child is on track? In addition to installing the app, you can order a FREE “Parent Kit” (includes a Milestone Moments booklet with checklists for ages 2 months to 5 years and a growth chart; English or Spanish).
- Social and Emotional Milestones
Social developmental milestones are all about how a child interacts with the world and others. Whether or not your child looks in the direction of a sound, smiles back at you or watches a cartoon are all factors in their development. How they express their emotions and how they react to the emotions of others are all part of their social growth. Here is a quick reference for development milestones from 2 months to 5 years, in English and in Spanish.
- Cognitive Developmental Milestones
There is a lot of factors to a child’s cognitive development. You have to look at what they learn, how they learn it and the pace they learn it at, as well as their ability to retain that information. My son Andres spent two years in a special education preschool class with only 8 students and three adults. While he had learned a great amount in that time and was ready for Kindergarten, he was not able to easily retain the information. Within a few months of Kindergarten, he knew less than he did when he started. The school and I were able to address his academic regression with additional support services. He is now in the second grade. While he continues to be behind his peers, he has the right support in place and is making progress! Concerned about Development? See “How to help your child” / “How to talk with your child’s doctor” tip sheets. Also available in Spanish!
The CDC has a large selection of valuable videos to help parents see Milestones in Action!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is full of resources! They have the same information available in Spanish, too! You can download charts, checklists, and posters or even get a free important milestones app from iTunes. There is also a FREE “Parent Kit” that can be ordered. (includes a Milestone Moments booklet with checklists for ages 2 months to 5 years and a growth chart; English or Spanish) I love how the CDC understands that we’re all different. They’ve given us a number of options so that learning about important milestones fits with individual learning styles.
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Have you ever been concerned about your child reaching developmental milestones? We’d love to know about it. Share in the comments!
By: Alicia Gonzalez
Originally published at 24/7 Modern Mom™.