In this article, you’ll find answers to questions like:
1. Should all kids develop at the same rate?
2. Why is screening important?
3. Who can help?
You’ve already witnessed a period of astonishing physical, emotional and social growth for your child. Although it may seem like he was just taking his first steps, he’s now mastered the monkey bars on the playground.
As parents, we often hear the term developmental milestones and know it’s important our children hit these markers at key moments of growth. But what exactly do child development specialists mean by that phrase?
1. SHOULD ALL KIDS DEVELOP AT THE SAME RATE?
“First, it’s important to remember that every child is an individual,” says Randee Gabriel, Children and Family Services manager at 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast. “There are no two children that will hit every milestone at the exact same time. Still, there are crucial cues to look for at each age.”
Here’s some insight from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what’s normal for your child’s development at these ages. Physical, social and mental skills develop quickly, and this is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, schoolwork and sports.
Key developmental milestones:
- Showing more independence from parents and family
- Understanding more about their place in the world
- Paying more attention to friendships and teamwork
- Wanting to be liked and accepted by friends
- Demonstrating rapid development of mental skills
- Developing less focus on oneself and more concern for others
2. WHY IS SCREENING IMPORTANT?
“Every age group brings within itself new changes and skills required,” Gabriel says. “Rescreening at each interval is imperative to identify these shifts and ensure healthy development over the long term.”
3. WHO CAN HELP?
Detection and intervention are critical for optimal outcomes for children. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s development, call the 211 Help Me Grow Program. Help Me Grow services are free, including screenings, information and resource connection.
• Randee Gabriel, Children and Family Services manager, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services