Many parents often wonder if their child is behind, on schedule, or ahead for their age of development. Milestones were created to be used as a guide for parents and health care professionals to determine if a child needs additional help to meet delayed milestones and use them to determine if a child has a possible disability. As a mom, all of my babies have developed skills when they were ready and I didn’t focus on comparing them to other babies that were around the same age. However, my daughter was born deaf and she was evaluated by multiple health care professionals to determine what milestones that she needed additional help with. Most of her developmental delays were in language and speech, which was to be expected since she was born deaf.
How are Developmental Milestones Documented?
Babies develop at their own pace and should never be compared to another child when it comes to development skills. If you compare your child to another child, this can cause you added stress and worries. If you have any concerns, you should discuss it with your child’s doctor or health care provider. Your child’s doctor monitors your babies developmental milestones during your child’s well visit appointments. During the visit your child’s doctor will often interact with your baby and ask you questions about things your child is doing at home or they will have you fill out a questioner that asks you specific questions about your baby’s development. It is important that you answer the questions honestly, as this helps your child’s doctor determine if your baby is having any developmental delays. If there are any developmental delays,these delays should be addressed quickly so that your child can get additional help without suffering any further delays or problems.
What Happens If Your Child Has a Developmental Delay?
If your doctor notices that your child has a developmental delay, he or she will refer you to a specialist and they will help find services to help your child to get additional help. In the United States, children are referred to a program called Early Intervention Services. Early Intervention is designed to help children ages birth to 3 years old who have disabilities or developmental delays. If your child is eligible to receive services from Early Childhood Intervention, the services will be provided in your child’s natural environment. If your child is over the age of three, the local school district provides the same services as Early Intervention Services for children who have developmental delays or disabilities.
What Should I Look For to Determine If My Child Has or Develops a Developmental Delay?
Parents often worry about their children and often ask other parents what their child is doing, especially, if they have a baby around the same age. Remember that milestones are just guidelines to help doctors and parents determine if a child has a developmental delay or not. As I already mentioned, babies develop and grow at different rates. If you compare two babies, you will find that they may not be achieving the same milestones at the same pace. Don’t be alarmed if your child has one development delay in their age appropriate category, this is part of your child’s normal development. A child who isn’t meeting several milestones in their age appropriate milestones, you should not panic or be alarmed; however, you should schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor and should discuss your concerns.