Developmental milestones are behaviours or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop.
The four areas of development
Fine motor skills
Speech and communication
What to Expect From Your Visit
At your routine visits your paediatrician will ask questions and/or use a checklist, together with observation, to ensure your child’s development is up to date. If there are any concerns a formal developmental assessment will be needed.
Screening tests only try to identify children who may have one or more problems. A screening test is not a diagnosis, but it may indicate that a child should be referred for developmental assessment or evaluation.
These screens are done at well visits (usually 6 weeks, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year and then annually up to 6 years).
High risk children include preterm birth, low birth weight, certain syndromes and these children should have more frequent developmental monitoring and screening in all areas of development.
A developmental assessment is a structured lengthy, in-depth evaluation of the child’s skills & development and a comprehensive assessment to review the key areas – physical, social, emotional, moral, and intellectual.
It provides a profile of a child’s strengths and weaknesses in all developmental areas. These tests are administered by trained professionals and may be used to determine if the child is in need of an early-intervention and/or treatment program.
Why is it important:
Developmental screening is particularly important for children under the age of 3 years, as the sooner problems are detected, the better the response to therapy will be. It identifies high risk individuals needing:
- regular review or needs further diagnostic evaluation.
- Indicates if your child qualifies for early intervention
- Identifies children where special education services may be needed
Although early intervention is extremely important, intervention at any age can be helpful. It is best to get an evaluation early so that any needed interventions can get started.