Saturday, August 1, 2009
Have you ever sat in a group of parents and children and noticed major differences between children where milestones like crawling, walking or talking are concerned?
While it is true that most children pass through predictable stages of development, there is no specific age that they will occur.
Although much is written about typical behavior at certain ages or stages (myself included), a span of three to five months around the target age is entirely typical.
For this reason, it’s important not to compare children or their abilities to other children.
Communication, gross motor (large muscle groups), fine motor (hands and fingers), personal-social, and problem-solving are five major areas of child development. In my years of working with children, I’ve come to recognize that each child has their own individual areas of strength or interest. Early talkers may not be early walkers and vice versa, but they will eventually conquer each domain on their own time table.
As a home visitor/parent educator, parents and I used the Ages and Stages Questionnaire provided by our agency to periodically assess children’s development. Not only did the parents get reassured that their child was progressing on target for his or her age, but the questions themselves provided clues as to what types of activities they could or should be doing.
The University of Oregon’s Early Intervention Program is currently studying the development of infants and young children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years. As part of this study, they are allowing any parent to fill-out (anonymously) an Ages and Stages Questionnaire online for their child. They do ask for basic demographics information for their study, but no names or locations.
The questionnaire itself takes only a few minutes and once completed, you will receive the confidential results immediately through your e-mail address. You can also print out the completed questionnaire and additional activities for your child’s stage. There is no cost for this service.
Take the Ages & Stages Questionnaire at:
Nanny's Note: As always, please discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.
Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson; Carson, CA