Milestone. Definition: A stone or pillar set up to how the distance (in miles) to or from a specified place.
What does that mean, exactly, in relation to child development you may wonder? Developmental Milestones are markers that are set forth by early childhood experts as a tool to measure a child’s growth in four primary areas of development.
These four areas include:
- Fine/Gross Motor development.
Within each of these four domains they are broken into age ranges such as 0-5 mos., 5-8 mos., 8-14 mos., and so on. If a child’s meeting the markers in each of these categories then they are considered to be on target as compared to other kids the same age. If a child is not meeting certain markers in any of the four previously mentioned domains, this would be something that parents, early childhood experts, and pediatricians would note. From this information, activities, skills, and ideas could be provided to a child’s family to encourage their child’s opportunities for growth.
At some point, if milestones continue to be missed, it is considered a “red flag”. A red flag is an indicator that early intervention may be needed to help a child increase their development with not only their parents support but through extra support of an OT, PT, SLP, experts specifically set up to help increase a child’s abilities and skills and to support the parent in doing the same.
The importance of Developmental Milestones is two-fold. It validates and reassures parents that they are providing the skills, information and ideas needed to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted child. It also helps provide a child and their family with some extra support, through early childhood intervention, when needed, so a child can meet their full potential. Visit the Parent Education Network’s website for a list of developmentally appropriate activities and things to be on the lookout for so that you can give your child the best possible start in life!