Child Development & their Milestones

Gross motor Birth Flexed posture
3 months Head steady when seated supported
7 months Sits unsupported
13 months Walks
2 years Jumps
4 years Hops
Fine motor and vision 4 months Hand regard
6 months Grasps cube and transfers
9 months Releases cube
12 months Pincer grasp
18 months Tower of 3 cubes
30 months Copies circle
Language 3 months Squeals
8 months Rich babbling
12 months Says “Mama”,” Dada”
18 months 2 word phrases
36 months Intelligible to strangers
Social Birth Can be comforted
6 weeks Smiles
3 months Reciprocal smiles
7 months Peek-a boo. Mouthing objects
12 months Drinks from a cup. Casting
18 months No more mouthing (or casting)
30 months Potty trained
4 years Dress independently

General Point on Children’s Development

An early diagnosis of a developmental problem rarely leads to any definitive intervention or therapy which can cure the problem, but it may well reduce emotional or behavioural handicap in the children or their families, and sometimes allows genetic counselling to take place before the family embark on another pregnancy

In general, Primary Health Care Teams in Northumberland have a good record of identifying children with developmental problems. Virtually all children with Cerebral Palsy are identified before the age of two. Diplegias remain the most elusive. 80% of children who have significant speech delay are identified and referred for speech therapy before their third birthday. More than half of all children with special educational needs are known about before the age of two. It is virtually unheard of now for a child to enter school with a significant unidentified developmental problem.

This good record is probably due primarily to the following factors

  • a good awareness in health professionals of developmental issues
  • an increasing interest in child development
  • an accessible primary care service and to a lesser extent to specific child health surveillance.

A “checklist” of items which should alert members of the Primary Health Care Team that they may be dealing with a serious developmental problem

in a baby:
  • not looking at mother’s face or at objects
  • deficient eye contact
  • abnormal tone or movements
in an infant:
  • strong hand preference
  • inability to relax and not liking to be cuddled
  • failure to adapt to body posture of the adult holding the child
  • inconsistent response to sound
  • poor localisation
  • attention difficult to capture
in a toddler:
  • persistent mouthing (except when tired)
  • persistent casting/throwing (except in a temper tantrum)
  • persistent shaking/rattling of toys
  • short concentration span/flitting from toy to toy
at any age:
  • parental concern
  • a strong discrepancy between the three growth parameters (height, weight, head circumference)
  • a history of an increasing gap between the child’s developmental ability and that of his peers
  • any suggestion of developmental regression (apart from minor regression in the social area in response to stress).
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