What are Developmental Milestones?

Developmental milestones are functional skills or age-specific tasks that most children can do at a certain age range. They are categorized into five areas: gross motor, fine motor, language, cognitive, and social-emotional. These milestones help gauge if a child's development is on track.

What are Developmental Milestones?

Developmental milestones are functional skills or tasks that most children can do at a certain age. These milestones are categorized into five domains: Gross motor, Fine motor, Language, Cognitive, and Social-emotional and behavioral.

  • Gross motor: These are the skills that involve large muscle activities such as sitting, walking, and jumping.
  • Fine motor: These skills involve smaller muscle activities like holding a spoon, buttoning a shirt, or picking up a small object.
  • Language: This involves both spoken and non-spoken language. It includes understanding and following instructions, responding to questions, and using sentences.
  • Cognitive: Cognitive skills involve thinking, learning, problem-solving, and memory. It includes understanding cause and effect, sorting and matching objects by shape and color, and recognizing letters and numbers.
  • Social-emotional and behavioral: This involves the ability to interact with others, understand and express emotions, and adjust to social rules.

Why are Developmental Milestones Important?

Developmental milestones help parents and professionals understand if a child is on track in their development. They provide a guideline of what to expect at different ages. If a child is not meeting these milestones, it could be a sign of a developmental delay or disorder.

What are Some Examples of Developmental Milestones?

Examples of developmental milestones include taking a first step, smiling for the first time, waving "bye-bye", singing an alphabet song, learning left from right hand, counting 10 objects, catching a ball, climbing stairs without holding on, and retelling a story.

How are Developmental Milestones Tracked?

The CDC recommends tracking a child's milestones and talking with their doctor at every visit. This helps to identify any potential developmental delays or disorders early, allowing for early intervention and support.

What is Neurodivergence?

Neurodivergence is a term for differences in mental or neurological function from what is considered "typical". It can result from differences in brain development before birth and during childhood. This can affect how someone communicates, behaves, and responds to the world around them.

How Does Neurodivergence Affect Developmental Milestones?

Neurodivergent children may reach some of their developmental milestones on time or early, but others may be late, lose ground over time, or not develop at all. For example, some autistic children may not engage in pretend play at 30 months of age, or have difficulty understanding other people's feelings at 3 years of age.

What are Some Challenges Faced by Neurodivergent Individuals?

Neurodivergent individuals may struggle with soft skills such as emotional intelligence, social interactions, or the ability to work effectively in a group. They may also exhibit physical behaviors such as standing too close to someone, speaking too loudly, or self-soothing actions like rocking or irregular hand movement.

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