Growth and Development Milestones - Topic Overview
What are growth and development milestones?
Growth and development milestones help you see how your child is doing compared with other children the same age. The milestones tell you what you should expect from your child in five areas:
Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)
Emotional and social development
Sensory and motor development
If your child is meeting the milestones, his or her development is on track. If your child continually misses milestones or reaches a milestone but then loses that new ability, your child may need extra help from your doctor or other specialist.
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Children usually move in a natural and predictable way from one milestone to the next. But each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area, such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor development.
Sometimes there is a reason that a child is not meeting a milestone. Things like having an existing health problem, trouble hearing, or an emotional life change may cause a mild and temporary delay in reaching a milestone. For example, a child may have a language delay because of trouble hearing or because of a developmental disorder such as autism.
Although your child grows at his or her own pace, be aware of signs of a developmental delay. The earlier you
identify a delay, the better chance you have of getting the right treatment for your child that can prevent or lessen it.