An ongoing assessment of your child’s developmental progress
All babies, toddlers, children and teens develop at their own pace. Gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, and social skills, and speech and language each develop along their own track. There are established milestones for each of these aspects of development that we look for as we watch children grow. The range spans quite a few months for each of these milestones. For example a baby who walks at 9 months may be an early walker, at one year an average walker, and at 17 months a late walker, but all are normal. When those children are 3 years old no one will know which one was the early, average, or late walker. What matters most is that in each area there is ongoing progression as children grow and that all milestones are met. We will ask questions about development at each checkup and have partnered with Georgia State University to administer the MCHAT developmental screen at 18 and 24 months. This is a standard screen developed locally that is used internationally. We have the advantage of having our patients participate in the ongoing study, where Georgia State can score and offer follow up if any concerns arise. The newest study will begin for patients age 12months.We are also use a standardized measure called PEDSDM at all 9, 18 and 30month checkups. Developmental assessments continue throughout childhood and teen years. In older children we look at social , emotional, cognitive and physical development. Screening and acting early on any concerns has been shown to allow for the best possible outcomes.
What are milestones? What is normal?
Things like babbling, sitting, pulling up, saying mama, pointing to objects, using utensils, running, drawing, talking in sentences are all examples of milestones.
Here are sites that describe what your child should be doing at different ages. If you become concerned be sure to bring it to our attention at a checkup or call for additional advice.
- Developmental checklist from CDC Learn the Signs, Act Early interactive site ages: birth – 5 years
- Infant and Toddler Development from Medline Plus, ages: birth-preschool
- Speech and language milestones from the Mayo Clinic ages: birth—2 years
- Speech and language milestones from NIDCD
- Zero to Three parent handouts
- Child Development from Medline Plus, ages: 6-12 years
- Teen Development from Medline Plus includes links to sites about puberty
- Kids Health articles on growth and development for all ages
- CDC developmental home page with positive parenting links for each age group
Screening Tools 9mo 18mo, 30mo
MCHAT at 18 months and 24 months Go to the patient portal to complete from home prior to your appointment. It will populate directly into your child’s chart.
PEDSDM at 9 months 18months, 30 months, and as indicated.
NEW: Our 12month olds can now be enrolled in a Georgia State study where free services would be provided if any delays were identified.
What is Autism?
CDC site on autism with comprehensive information about causes diagnosis and treatment
What if your child falls behind? What can you do?
Sometimes symptoms or behavior patterns are observed that may indicate a child is at risk for developing a disability. Development is an ongoing process and just like in children with no observed red flags it is difficult to determine how, or if these symptoms will progress and impact your child. We know, however, that early intervention is extremely helpful, so often services are recommended before an actual diagnosis is made. This can be frustrating for parents and we will guide you through the process and available resources. Here are two good web sites to start. Parent to Parent of Georgia has a helpful roadmap to services. A free service for evaluations and services for all kids under 3yrs. in Georgia is Babies Can’t Wait.