by deerhart (3282 Posts), Tue Mar 09, 2004 10:32 pm
Also remember that all children really are different, and they grow at their own rate.
Also remember those milestones are GENERAL milestones and have a nice range in them. For example half of children walk by the time they are 12-13 months, but the normal range to begin walking is 9-18 months. Thus even if the child isn't walking at 15 months, they are not abnormal.
It is the same for all the milestones. THe milestone ranges cover the middle 50% (25-75), that means 25% of kids beat those milestones and 25% are behind.
My oldest son is considered delayed in several areas, especially conversational speech and social skills. The 13 weeks I spent suffering from PE and his slowed growth due to that may have been a cause of this, but even if it played a part, it is most likely a very small role. What seems to play the largest role in his delays seems to be a mixture of his personality and the way he learns.
My son learns things sort of backwards. He accomplishes the hardest thing first and then works back to the easiest thing. For example, he learned to spell words first, then to sight read them, and is still working to learn how to sound out letters to read words. Which is backwards to how most kids learn it (sounding out the words, then read them, then spelling). At 22 months my son only had about 5-10 words, by 25 months he had 50-100. His explosion came around 24-25 months.
Here is a list of the 18-23 month milestones for speech
Enjoys being read to.
Follows simple commands without gestures.
Points to simple body parts such as "nose."
Understands simple verbs such as "eat," "sleep."
Correctly pronounces most vowels and n, m, p, h, especially in the beginning of syllables and short words. Also begins to use other speech sounds.
Says 8 to 10 words (pronunciation may still be unclear).
Asks for common foods by name.
Makes animal sounds such as "moo."
Starting to combine words such as "more milk."
Begins to use pronouns such as "mine."
Not all kids will exhibit these some of these signs, but having 10 word vocabulary is well within the milestone for her age group and if she's building on that vocabulary she is progressing. Also remember that just becuase YOU may not be able to distinguish the word or the word is not clear, that doesn't mean its not a word. Thus, if she uses syllables to represent the same object/item over and over (like ba for ball or bottle) that is a word. Even at 22 months, children can have problems with pronuciation like leaving out vowels or dropping consonents, which can make it very difficult to distinguish some words they are using.
My oldest child did not like to be read to, he instead would chose to take the book off and go through it himself (many people will contribute this to higher intelligence and independance). My younger child does this to some extent. Even now, my oldest son does like to be read to, but usually prefers to recite things back to me, or get involved in telling the story in any way.
Finally, milestones are a funny thing as some children really are just late bloomers (both of my children rolled over late even for their adjusted ages, neither every really crawled, but went straight from sitting up to walking, both are advanced in motor skills for their ages now). But, there are many resources available to parents about child development.
Many school districts have a program called Parents as Teachers
This program helps parents learn about their children's development, ways to encourage development, and some simple evaluations of how your child is developing.
In addition, each state should have a 0-3 and 3+ speical education program that a child can be referred to for official evaluation of their developmental skills. Each states requirements vary on when a child is given help (here in MO, the child under 3 has to be delayed 25% in 2 areas or 50% in 1 area, my son was delayed 25% in both expressive speech and social skills) so you would have to check what the requirements are in your state.
Many times delays can be normalized as the child is capable of being "normal" (I have learned to HATE the word normal because its truely a fiction), they just may need more time or more help in some areas. The best advice I can give is to really pay attention to the more detailed things about the child. Try to figure out how the child learns, and then teach things in a way that emphasizes the learning style. Also, with speech espeically, many times we expect the childs language to mimic ou own more, and thus miss many attempts the child makes to communicate and many words they really are using because it doesn't sound right to us. There are many different techniques to use to not only encourage a child to use words, but also to length sentences, use pronouns etc...
My oldest child was evaluated around 28-30 months and began therapy right before his 3rd birthday. he has made huge improvements over the last year and it has helped him a great deal, as has just the maturity of another year.
One more thing to look at is family history. When did both parents meet their milestones? What aobut aunts and uncles, your siblings, your parents etc.. Some things are known to run in families, which is why my youngest son is being watched a bit more closely in his speech development (boys are more likely to have speech delays then girsl and if you have one child who is delayed the likelyhood that another child will be delayed is much higher).
From someone who has been there done that, I completely understand your concern, but also ask that you make sure to keep things in proportion. Just because your grandchild doesn't walk by by 12 months etc.. doesn't neceassarly mean she is delayed, you have to look at the entire age range for these things to occur.
Antoher website you may want to look at is the CICC discovery tool, which is sort of a screening test for development.
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