REiMAGiNE DEVELOPMENT

AGES AND STAGES

Early Childhood Intervention occurs at the time when your child is developing most rapidly when the brain and body are growing and developing. The foundations for many skill sets are laid down in the early years from birth to age five, with learning and development continuing throughout our lives but at a slower rate. Experience has shown that starting early to encourage learning and development has positive effects in helping children to participate in school, friendships and recreation opportunities and to have fewer problems in the future. For children with a disability and/or developmental delay, getting the support they need as early as possible will give them the best chance of minimising the long-term effects of the disability or the delay and will enable them the opportunity to fulfil their potential. According to the Raising Children Network development is the term used to describe the changes in your child’s physical growth, as well as their ability to learn the social, emotional, behaviour, thinking and communication skills they need for life. All of these areas are linked, and each depends on and influences the others. ‘Ages and Stages’ outline the significant periods of development that every child goes through. Children develop skills in five main areas, known as domains. These domains are:
  • Cognitive
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Speech and Language
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
Each of these areas can be broken down into developmental milestones. These milestones are a general list of the things most children can do by a certain age. Whilst it is important to remember that all children develop differently, you can use this list as a tool to check if your child is meeting typical milestones for their age. How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves can provide you with important clues about your child’s development. Below are you will find helpful resources and links to help you understand what generally happens at each of the various stages of a child’s life during their early years.

MiLESTONES: 3-4 MONTHS

Remember that children develop at different rates. The Raising Children Network contains helpful information about what your child typically should be able to do at this age. According to Raising Children, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 3-4 months:
  • Your child is crying a lot and this is worrying you
  • Your child isn’t making eye contact with you or doesn’t pay attention to faces
  • Your child crosses his eyes most of time and doesn’t follow moving objects with his eyes
  • Your child isn’t making any sounds or responding to noises.
  • Your child isn’t lifting her head
  • Your child isn’t starting to control her head while sitting
  • Your child isn’t reaching and grasping for toys
  • Your child doesn’t notice her hands and keeps her hands in a fist most of the time.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 6-7 MONTHS

This is an exciting time when your baby’s imagination comes alive. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 6-7 months:
  • Your child isn’t making eye contact with you, isn’t following moving objects with her eyes or has an eye that is turned in or outmost of the time
  • Your child isn’t babbling
  • Your child isn’t turning towards sounds or voices.
  • Your child doesn’t show whether he’s happy or sad
  • Your child shows little or no affection for carers – for example, he doesn’t smile at you.
  • Your child isn’t rolling
  • Your child feels very floppy or stiff
  • Your child can’t sit up or stand up with your help
  • Your child uses one hand a lot more than the other
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 9-10 MONTHS

At 9-10 months your baby will be babbling and may even be able to say ‘dada’ or ‘mama’. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 9-10 months:
  • Your child isn’t making eye contact with you, isn’t following moving objects with her eyes or has an eye that is turned in or outmost of the time
  • Your child isn’t babbling
  • Your child isn’t turning her head towards sounds or voices
  • Your child doesn’t respond to your voice, smile and other facial expressions.
  • Your child doesn’t smile or show whether he’s happy or sad.
  • Your child can’t sit on her own
  • Your child uses one hand a lot more than the other
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 12-15 MONTHS

At this age your toddler toddlers might start taking their first steps and much more! According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 12-15 months:
  • Your child isn’t making eye contact with you, isn’t following moving objects with his eyes or has an eye that is turned in or out most of the time
  • Your child isn’t interested in sounds
  • Your child doesn’t respond to his name when called and doesn’t seem to understand you
  • Your child isn’t babbling or using single words or trying to let you know what they want.
  • Your child isn’t using gestures like waving or pointing.
  • Your child isn’t showing her emotions and feelings.
  • Your child can’t stand even when holding on to you or the furniture
  • Your child uses one hand a lot more than the other
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 15-18 MONTHS

At this age your toddler is curious about everything and is keen to play, experiment and explore. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 15-18 months:
  • Your child has trouble seeing or hearing things
  • Your child doesn’t say any single words
  • Your child doesn’t follow simple instructions – for example, ‘Please give me the ball’
  • Your child doesn’t point, wave or use other gestures.
  • Your child doesn’t enjoy eye contact or cuddles with you.
  • Your child isn’t walking by himself
  • Your child uses one hand a lot more than the other (usually children don’t use one hand more than the other until closer to two years)
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 18-24 MONTHS

At this age your toddler starts to experience ‘big’ emotions can be hard for them to deal with. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 18-24 months:
  • Your child has trouble seeing or hearing things
  • Your child isn’t using two words together
  • Your child can’t follow simple instructions
  • Your child isn’t showing her feelings
  • Your child doesn’t come to you for affection or comfort
  • Your child doesn’t copy actions or words, or pretend during play
  • Your child can’t walk up and down stairs and if they can’t run
  • Your child finds it hard to handle small objects
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 2-3 YEARS

This is one of your child’s most important ages for emotional development. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 2-3 years:
  • Your child doesn’t look you in the eye
  • Your child has trouble seeing or hearing things, or understanding simple instructions
  • Your child isn’t using three-word sentences, and is often hard to understand
  • Your child isn’t interested in other children
  • Your child finds it difficult to separate from her primary caregiver
  • Your child doesn’t pretend during play
  • Your child can’t run
  • Your child isn’t scribbling or drawing, and finds it hard to handle small objects
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 4-5 YEARS

This is an age of emotional expressions, new friendships, make-believe play, and lots of physical activity. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 4-5 years:
  • Your child has trouble seeing or hearing things
  • Your child isn’t developing conversational skills
  • Your child can’t understand three-part commands like ‘Put it in the box’
  • Your child doesn’t play with other children or acts in a very aggressive way
  • Your child seems very afraid, unhappy or sad a lot of the time
  • Your child is easily distracted and can’t concentrate on any single activity for more than a few minutes
  • Your child doesn’t pretend during play and has trouble drawing shapes
  • Your child finds it hard to use small objects, and is clumsy
  • Your child has difficulty eating, dressing or using the toilet
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 5-6 YEARS

Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 5-6 years:
  • Your child is difficult to understand when he talks or isn’t speaking in full sentences
  • Your child has trouble following simple directions like
  • Your child uses lots of inappropriate or challenging behaviour
  • Your child shows no interest in letters or trying to write her own name
  • Your child is very withdrawn, worried or depressed or gets very upset when separating from you
  • Your child doesn’t interact well with others
  • Your child still wets or soils his pants during the day
  • Your child has difficulty falling asleep at night or staying asleep.
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

MiLESTONES: 6-8 YEARS

At 6-8 years your child will engage in sophisticated play and develop stronger friendships. According to the Raising Children Network, experience has shown that there may be concerns about your child’s development if they have any of the following issues at 6-8 years:
  • Your child has a stutter or lisp when talking
  • Your child has difficulty following instructions
  • Your child finds it hard to make friends
  • Your child can’t skip, hop or jump, or sit still for a long time
  • Your child is aggressive with other children
  • Your child seems to be afraid of going to school, or refuses to go to school.
  • Your child can’t get dressed or undressed independently
  • Your child experiences daytime wetting or soiling
  • Your child still has regular night-time wetting at eight years
  • If you notice that your child has lost skills they once had.
It is important to see your child and family health nurse or GP if you have any concerns.