As they grow, babies and children learn to use their bodies to explore their environment, communicate, and complete activities of daily living. Each skill builds upon the previous one along common timelines, indicating a child is growing and learning as expected. We call reaching these skills “developmental milestones.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer helpful checklists to track milestones and help identify possible concerns. If your child is not reaching these milestones, he or she may benefit from an evaluation to identify developmental delays and determine a course of action to address any problems.
Development delays in daily activities should be evaluated by an Occupational Therapist. For children showing delays in moving milestones, a Physical Therapist should evaluate your child. Finally, if your child is having difficulty with communication, a Speech and Language Pathologist should evaluate your child’s needs. Social/emotional milestones typically overlap with the other three categories, and referrals can be made to other care professionals if necessary.