I don’t dread discussing developmental milestones with parents, but I know parents stress out about whether or not their children are reaching their milestones. If these parents aren’t stressing out before they bring their child in for a physical therapy evaluation, they sure are freaking out by the time we are done.
I always try to do my best to ease parents into the talk about developmental milestones so they don’t think the world is over if their child is a few months behind. Some parents, however, need a little nudging to make sure their babies do not fall too far behind.
From working with a number of first-time parents with patients that are 2-4 months old, I’ve learned that most parents feel they have no idea about what in the world their child should be doing or when they should be doing it. Sometimes I find it funny that I’m babbling on and on about milestones and telling parents not to worry, when I, myself, have no direct experience panicking about whether or not my kids are reaching their milestones. Sometimes I think not having any kids of my own helps give me a clearer point of view since I don’t have to worry about comparing these patients to my own kids. We’ll see if my panic about milestones changes if I have kids ha.
So… one of the biggest questions I get asked?? “Is my child delayed??” this is usually followed by “When will my child walk??”
I decided to google “Developmental Milestones” and got “about 718,000 results,” I’m sure that doesn’t stress anyone out :).
Pediatric physical therapy evaluations usually use some standardized test to determine a patient’s developmental level, and sometimes I give these to parents to give them a quick summary so they have some idea where their child should be. Googling does bring up some helpful sites, so I figured I’d help some first-time parents out by posting them here. I’m also hoping that pediatricians are educating parents on these as well!
These links are from the CDC.gov site from their “Learn the signs, act early” campaign.
I just listed the first 12 month checklists, but here’s a link that has all the checklists up to 5 years old on one big pdf.
The CDC also has a pamphlet you can use to keep track of all these milestones.
The CDC site has lots of great helpful information that isn’t too overwhelming. Their Facts page has lots of useful information about common diagnoses for parents to use.
Here’s a link to more downloadable material from the CDC.
Hope this post wasn’t too overwhelming, no formal questions after this one, but you can always email me with questions!
Happy Developing 🙂