The healthy development of children is something that we often take for granted. What is more natural and ordinary then kids growing up? But we should maintain steady awareness and support of their development.
Growth and development constantly occurs in the physical, mental, and emotional abilities of a child. The physical growth of a child is often tested at their doctor's visits. But don't forget to follow your child's ability to speak and get along with other people. When there is a delay in development, let your doctor know. Parents are often the best judges of their child's development.
There has been a lot of news about autism. In children with autism, delays in language development, problems with social interaction, and repetitive behaviors are often signs of a problem. Early intervention can make a huge difference in a child's development.
Developmental Signs to Watch For:
By the end of 7 months, many children are able to:
• turn head when name is called
• smile back at another person
• respond to sound with sounds
• enjoy social play (such as peek-a-boo)
By the end of 1 year (12 months), many children are able to:
• use simple gestures (waving “bye-bye”)
• make sounds such as “ma” and “da”
• imitate actions in their play (clap when you clap)
• respond when told “no”
By the end of 11/2 years (18 months), many children are able to:
• do simple pretend play (“talk” on a toy phone)
• point to interesting objects
• look at object when you point at it and tell them to “look!”*
• use several single words unprompted
By the end of 2 years (24 months), many children are able to:
• use 2- to 4-word phrases
• follow simple instructions
• become more interested in other children
• point to object or picture when named
By the end of 3 years (36 months), many children are able to:
• show affection for playmates
• use 4- to 5-word sentences
• imitate adults and playmates (run when other children run)
• play make-believe with dolls, animals, and people (“feed” a
Some things to consider:
Developmental delays are not something that children will grow out of.
Early intervention is vital for your children's growth.
If you are worried about a problem, every state has a program for early intervention for children younger than 3 years old.
Don't wait or hesitate. If you're worried, get help early.