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Knowing Your Child’s Developmental Milestones

Knowing Your Child’s Developmental Milestones

It is important that you, as a parent, closely observe your child, especially during the early stages of his life. Though each child develops differently, knowing your child’s milestones will help you to watch out for red flags that may signal a neurological disorder or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Keeping track of the milestones will also give your doctor a good basis for the diagnosis of your child’s health.
These milestones, if delayed, will not automatically mean a disorder, however, any loss or lack of skills is a cause for alarm and needs to be brought to your child’s doctor’s attention immediately.  Early autism intervention is one of the largest factors in a child with autism’s success and development.  Understanding key milestones can prepare parents to watch for delays or lack of progress in their child’s development.
 3 to 4 months
  • Look at faces and objects with interest.
  • Recognizes and reacts to faces and voices.
  • Smiles at just about anyone.
  • Curious and turns had towards the sound.
 7 Months
  • Can recognize other people’s emotions.
  • Plays hide and seek with objects.
  • Tries to reach objects in hard-to-reach places.
  • Puts everything in the mouth.
  • Turns head when called by name
  • Babbles.
By 12 Months/1 Year
  • Imitates people and sounds.
  • Enjoys games such as “peek-a-boo”.
  • Explores objects on sight.
  • Understands the word “no”.
  • Points at objects.
  • Can say single words.
  • Turns their body towards the person who called his name.
By 24 Months/2 Years
  • Enjoys being around other children.
  • Understands simple sentences.
  • Points to people and pictures.
  • Can sort shapes and colors.
  • Engages in “make-believe”.
  • Follows some instructions.
  • Can combine two words.
By 36 Months/3 Years
  • Displays affection.
  • Can make simple mechanical toys work.
  • Can match objects to pictures, colors, and shapes.
  • Can follow 2 to 3 part commands.
  • Can use simple sentences to communicate.
  • Uses pronouns – I, you, me – and plurals – cars, dogs.
By 48 Months/4 Years
  • Plays and cooperates with other children.
  • Creative and inventive in “make-believe” play.
  • Can name colors and count.
  • Speaks in five to six-word sentences.
  • Can tell stories.
  • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand.
  • Follows 3 part commands.
  • Understands “same” and “different”.
By 60 Months/5 Years
  • Likes imitating friends.
  • Likes to sing, dance and act.
  • Distinguishes fantasy from reality.
  • Increased independence.
  • Can count to 10 or more.
  • Speaks in sentences of more than five words.
  • Tells longer stories.

If your child is not meeting these milestones, it is important to reach out to their doctor as quickly as possible to determine if he or she is at risk for autism spectrum disorder.  If your child does receive an ASD diagnosis, it is critical to receive autism training as early as possible to help your child meet their full potential.  While there is no cure for ASD, an autism intervention called “Applied Behavior Analysis” has been found to show improvement in nearly 90% of individuals with ASD.  Special Learning has introductory and advanced autism training and ABA pieces of training that can help parents navigate the challenges of helping their children become successful.

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Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

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