How your little one acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Things most children can do by a certain age are called Developmental Milestones. Milestones are usually described in age ranges with beginning of range being early, and the end of the range being more average. After or end of range can be considered delayed or abnormal development. You may find that you child varies within ranges in developing certain abilities but not others. Boys and girls have the same physical, mental, emotional and social needs. Both have the same capacity for learning. Both have the same need for affection, attention and approval. Touch, hearing, smell, sight and taste are learning tools the child uses to explore and understand her or his world.
Pay attention, use a journal, record video; do whatever works for you. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next. My son could sit up, roll front to back, crawl forward, and push up his body, but it took him longer to roll back to front. In other areas he was on the early end and started walking at 10 months.
It is of utmost importance to allow your child to explore their environment. This is how they learn. It it important for them to be able to utilize all 5 senses. With a watchful eye, it is important to allow them to touch, grab, feel, see, taste, while assuring they remain safe, but not preventing the learning experience. Around the same time stranger danger kicks in , children begin to look to their caretakers for approval, for new activities and people. If a caretaker acts nervous, doesn’t allow, or projects their own issues upon their child, that child may develop a fear or something, or lack of interest in things that present no threat to them and development may be hindered. So let them smash a banana in their hands, squish oatmeal between their fingers, spread lotion on the floor, spill water down their necks, lick, bite, kiss, suck whatever their little hearts desire that won’t kill them or create total chaos in your household.
Red Flag: If you baby is not walking by 14-15 months, bring it up to your doctor. Red flags are important as they may be clear signs of something else going on with the child that may require extra attention or specific and tailored interventions for continued learning and to thrive and keep up with peers. A child on the autism spectrum is an example of what red flags could demonstrate.
(This is in no way a guide for how a disorder on the Ausitm spectrum is diagnosed, but just some examples of signs that may be present)
Every child on the autism spectrum has problems, at least to some degree, in the following three areas:
- Communicating verbally and non-verbally
- Relating to others and the world around them
- Thinking and behaving flexibly
- Regression in any area or development is a red flag for the autism spectrum as well.
I do not throw around diagnosis I’ve seen on TV, or in a movie. I have a a BA in Developmental Psychology and Forensic Psychology, a Masters in Social Work with a child focus, work experience, and a State License; the later of which vouches for my experience in assessment and diagnosis both physical disorders and in mental health.
There are many developmental milestones that should occur within your child’s first year of life. Above mentioned are just a few. There are many resources besides you doctor to learn about developmental milestones that are reputable including: Babycenter.com, CDC.gov, parents.com, Healthychildren.org,factsforlifeglobal.org, Mayoclinic.org.