Children develop in certain, predictable ways, referred to as developmental milestones. Milestones helps you understand how your child develops, learns and grows. Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, etc.). These are the four areas of development that are looked at through a developmental screening:
Motor Skills – Motor development, also called physical development, means how young children move their bodies and hands. Learn more about motor development and when babies roll over, sit, crawl, stand and walk.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently launched Physical Developmental Delays: What to Look For, an interactive online tool, for parents of children ages 5 and under to use when they are concerned about their child’s motor development. The tool lists physical activities by the age at which they are typically performed. If you are concerned that your child has not achieved a certain milestone or if there have been setbacks, you can click on boxes included next to activity descriptions. This creates a list – with space for notes – that can be taken to the next doctors appointment.
Cognitive Skills – Cognitive development is critical to a child’s growth. It describes how a child’s brain develops, and includes skills such as thinking, learning, exploring and problem solving. It also affects other areas of a child’s development, including language and social skills.
Communication Skills – The first five years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a child’s development. It’s a time of tremendous brain development that is very important for communication development. Babies begin communicating by crying, and then in a few months start babbling and imitating sounds. So much of a young child’s learning depends on having the ability to communicate with others, to begin to understand their world, to express their wishes and to ask those important questions about “why.”
Social Emotional Skills – Social and emotional development includes the child’s experience, expression and management of their emotions, and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others.
Curious or concerned about your child’s development? Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, etc.). The Milestones Checklist is available to help you to track your child’s development or check out the CDC Milestone Tracker App. Share it with your child’s doctor or nurse at the next visit.
Developmental Screenings are also available through the Family Resource Centers located throughout the state.
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