Understanding development is crucial to providing the right support and interventions when a child needs help. While many resources exist that provide guidelines for developmental skills, it is important to remember that all development falls on a continuum with ranges of appropriate times for skills to emerge. Each child may develop on a slightly different timetable with some skills ahead of expectations and others emerging later than expected. While we like to think of development as a smooth upward incline with new skills always emerging, it is rarely so in real life.
As educator Dorothy Corkille Briggs has noted: “Every child has an inner timetable for growth-a pattern unique to him. Growth is not steady, forward, upward progression. It is instead a switchback trail; three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap.”
Knowing what to look for, what the developmental progression of skills typically is, will help with making the decision of whether to provide support, intervene with therapy and keep a watchful eye on a child.
For more information about development and milestones contact us today or visit these helpful websites:
CDC Act Early Program: Developmental Guidelines http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html
US National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/childdevelopment.html
Child Development Institute http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/normaldevelopment/
Speech and Language Milestones; American Speech and Hearing Association http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart.htm
Development of Play Skills http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/play-work-of-children/pl2/