Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Erin Swilling- Parents as Teachers Parent Educator- Cheyenne

Erin Swilling- Parents as Teachers Parent Educator- Cheyenne

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:

  • Speech/Language
  • Cognitive/Intellectual
  • Social/Emotional
  • 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!

Comments on: "Importance of Developmental Milestones and Why You Should Care" (9)

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  3. Jennifer said:

    These are great sources for people with young ones. My sister just had a baby, and I’ll refer her to your website. Thanks.

  4. Well written Erin! Developmental milestones are so important to the lives of our kids. Who knew that I would be watching my H.S. sociolology class on Erickson’s theories like a hawk with my second child!

    My absolute favorite developmental psychologist though, is Lev Vygotsky. It is a shame he died so young and didn’t finish his thoughts.

    When a child is ready to learn I really like his theory: Zone of Proximal Development, ZPD. I am certain that you all remember your Instructor’s touching on Vygotsky, but not really getting into him. Let me credit wikipedia for the following paragragh and post this summary of ZPD.

    ZPD is Vygotsky’s term for the range of tasks that are too difficult for the child to master alone but that can be learned with guidance and assistance of adults or more-skilled children. Lower limit of ZPD is the level of skill reached by the child working independently. The upper limit is the level of additional responsibility the child can accept with the assistance of an able instructor. The ZPD captures the child’s cognitive skills that are in the process of maturing and can be accomplished only with the assistance of a more-skilled person. Scaffolding is a concept closely related to the idea of ZPD. Scaffolding is changing the level of support. Over the course of a teaching session, a more-skilled person adjusts the amount of guidance to fit the child’s current performance. Dialogue is an important tool of this process in the zone of proximal development. In a dialogue unsystematic, disorganized, and spontaneous concepts of a child are met with the more systematic, logical and rational concepts of the skilled helper.

    Page name: Lev Vygotsky
    Author: Wikipedia contributors
    Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
    Date of last revision: 12 July 2009 15:06 UTC
    Date retrieved: 12 July 2009 15:06 UTC
    Permanent link:
    Primary contributors: Revision history statistics
    Page Version ID: 301703004

    Don’t you think that is a great and natural way to teach children? I think this a good way to see full inclusion for our children while they also reach their maximum potential. I really enjoyed Vygotsky’s work.

    Thanks Erin!

  5. Blanca Moye said:

    Hi Erin
    Is not nice to run this miles with our children’s in the program?
    I love to do it !!!!!!!!!

  6. Tammy said:


  7. Samantha said:

    Hi Erin! This was very well written. I never cease to be amazed at how children meet milestones–sometimes when you least expect it like seemingly overnight. And I like how you put it: a child can meet their full potential. This can look different from child to child but with good intervention it can make all the difference.

  8. I thought this was great! Here are two links that relate:

    An AAP-approved milestones brochure, shows typical development & signs to watch out for:

    Click to access 4colorgrowthchart.pdf

    A video for new parents about tummy time — how it helps babies get on the right track to reach milestones, and “moves”!

  9. erin swilling said:


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