Childhood Milestones

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Milestones

                I often get asked, “Should my kid be doing ____ by now?”  Obviously there are certain milestones children should reach with particular things at particular times.  For example, most children begin sitting up around 6 months of age.  However, there is also something to be said for some kids being slower and doing things in their own time.

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Worried?

                So at what point should you be worried about your child?  First of all, check out the CDC website for milestones: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html  This should be a good start for you to question where your child is.  Also, ask your child’s pediatrician.  A good doctor will evaluate the milestones at each wellness visit, generally going by what the CDC recommends.  But again, keep in mind some kids are slower at reaching milestones and may have nothing wrong at all, especially boys.

                However, if your child is not meeting any of the milestones one or two months after they should be, get your child into see a doctor and question it.  But again, I caution you, do not panic.  Listen to the doctor and take his/her advice.  Follow through with testing and assessments; continue to evaluate your child, taking notes and making charts.  Work with your child and encourage them to sit or stand or whatever the milestones not reached are.

Autism and Milestones

                Because each child with Autism is different, it is difficult to narrow down specific milestones that are generally missed.  Often times, milestones are generally on target until the child becomes a toddler, but this is not always the case.  However some common milestones not achieved include talking and increasing vocabulary, eye contact, playing with other children, and interests in many things.  However, this is not to say that if your child has not met some of these particular milestones, he or she has Autism.  Proper diagnosis and assessment is needed to determine this.

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                My son hit every milestone early or on time until 24 months old.  After this point, milestones were not always being reached and concerns were becoming more prevalent.  It was difficult for us to accept this; we had dreams- big dreams.  Milestones are still critical for us even at five years old.  I get so excited when he finally reaches something, such as his beginning to have back and forth conversations (even if they are strange and go in directions I have difficulty following…).  I always say with Autism the rules are thrown out the window; milestones are achieved at different rates than the typically developing child.  Take them as they come- get excited for them and encourage your child to continue making progress.  Love them, enjoy their uniqueness, cherish them, laugh at their funny quirky ways, and take pleasure in the small achievements that for us are HUGE!

                If you are anything like me, it can be difficult to not think the worst possible thing when milestones are not being achieved.  My husband constantly reminds me to chill out and relax when I see other children behind in achieving milestones.  I have to take a step back, calm down, get relaxed, and encourage the parents to seek medical advice.  I offer this advice to you if you are concerned: Love your child, encourage your child, seek medical advice, and stay calm.  Try to not think of the worst possible outcome; this will only stress you out and add extra tension in the family.  But instead be thankful for what your child can do and be in prayer continually.

Wrapping it up

                If you have questions or thoughts, feel free to message me.  This can be a sensitive discussion at times, especially between spouses.  Again, above all, seek professional medical advice.

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                There are many different websites that discuss milestones.  Check them out and share with others!  Here are a few below:

http://www.babycenter.com/milestone-charts-birth-to-age-3

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/11-big-kid-milestones

http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/devmile.htm