February 22, 2016 @ 10:05 AM

This is often a very difficult question for families to answer.  There is variation in development of children within the same age range and this is normal.   Families know their children best and are usually the first to notice when their child is not meeting expected milestones in their development.  It is beneficial to the child if these concerns are investigated.  Early identification and treatment increases the chances that the impact of a developmental delay will be less.

What age related developmental milestones, if not met, would cause me to be concerned?

Age 3 months – Startle at loud noises, turns head to follow movements, crying when hungry

Age 6 months – Roll over, turn head towards sounds, coos & babbles, reach for and holds items

Age 9 months – Sit without help, responds to their name, knows mom, dad, and siblings

Age 1 year – Waves bye bye, starting to be mobile, curious about activities taking place around them

Age 18 months – Walks without help, says 10+ words, shows a range of emotions

Age 2 years – uses short sentences, shows attachment to family and familiar caregivers , curious about their surroundings

Age 3 years – words become understandable, uses imaginative play, shows concern for others

Age 4 years – increasing vocabulary and use of sentences, increasing physical co-ordination, beginnings of safety awareness

Note:  Any loss of language or social skills, regardless of age, is cause for concern and evaluation by a professional.

When families have concerns about their child’s development who do they call?  The persons most likely to provide the best advice and referrals to early intervention services are family physicians, pediatricians, and public health nurses.   Public Health Offices contact numbers are:

Newton – 604-592-2000                                                Guildford 604-587-4750

Cloverdale 604-575-5100                                               North Surrey 604-587-7900

South Surrey 604-542-4000                                          Delta 604-507-5400

 It can also be beneficial to discuss concerns with family members and experienced child care providers.   Grandparents and extended family can offer information about family experiences and history.  Experienced child care providers can provide observations about the child’s activities and accomplishments in the child care or preschool setting.

When a developmental delay is identified and early intervention initiated it will be beneficial in assisting the child to achieve their full potential.  Families play a vital role in supporting their child’s development.