Parents and society as a whole have general standards of expectations regarding a child’s learning and social development. They have expectations of when children will begin to learn and show new skills. Parents often look forward to exciting first steps and first words, as well as for their children to learn the alphabet, learn to count, and recognize colors. These behavioral expectations generally focus on the behavior of other babies in the home or even babies in the homes of other friends of family members. Understanding general learning and behavior benchmarks can help parents recognize or look for possible delays in learning. Catching these delays early will allow parents to take the necessary steps to help their children progress normally.
Identification of expectations
It’s fair to say that most children develop at their own pace … more or less. While parents shouldn’t panic if their little one is a few weeks or months behind on the learning curve, an overly lax “will come when it will” attitude can negatively affect a child’s ability to catch up with peers. .
There are basic mile stones that parents should be able to recognize:
6 weeks to 3 months
By the time they are six weeks old, babies should be able to focus on items in front of their face that are a foot away. Little ones will also recognize familiar voices and respond by turning their heads. Babies will enjoy cuddling too. By three months, babies can follow sound with their eyes, learn to play with their hands, and smile to show pleasure.
From six to twelve months:
By 6 months, babies should recognize their own reflection, begin to mimic facial expressions (smiles, frown, etc.), and begin to make sounds like gurgling, vowel sounds, and squeaks. When babies reach 9 months, they should try to crawl or move around the room by sliding or rolling. Babies this age can also begin to interpret feelings based on their tone of voice and begin to communicate through gestures and babbling. By the time babies are 12 months old, they should be able to crawl regularly and walk while holding furniture. Some babies can even walk on their own. At around one year of age, children begin to say their first words and can answer questions with simple words like their name, “no” and “goodbye.”
Between the ages of one and three, children will begin to express interest in handling objects by marking them, stacking them, lining up items, or even trying simple puzzles. The vocabulary is expanding and even growing now. By the time children reach two years, most can speak about 50 words and even speak in short sentences.
Once a child turns three, they should be able to talk about things that happened in the recent past, understand and follow directions, and be able to decide whether or not they will obey. At this age, they should also be able to speak clearly enough for most people to understand.
Between the ages of three and five, children are more curious and more imaginative. They start asking lots of questions, making up stories, singing their favorite songs, and playing games like hide and seek. At this age, they should master sharing with other children and will recognize that they don’t always get what they want.
When children start school, their sentence structure strengthens. Personality traits to watch out for at this age include curiosity, competitiveness, and cooperation with other children. Children will focus on basic reading, writing, and math skills. Children also begin to understand grading systems, make new friends, imitate other children, and begin to put more weight on what other children think of them.
Meeting milestones is important
If a child is behind in their milestones by a few months, it is usually nothing to worry about. However, if the child’s skill level and interest in other subjects or people are far below their peers, it may be a good time for parents to speak with the pediatrician. The doctor can help the family determine if an intervention or tutoring would be helpful.
While earlier generations labeled learning delays late blooming, research has shown that this is not always the case. This mindset can make it difficult for children to catch up with their peers. For example, teaching a child to read at 6 is much easier than teaching him to read at 9 or 10. It is difficult to learn these tasks at an advanced age because brain development creates a more flexible personality to learn these new skills. Personality characteristics, such as the fact that children are extremely curious and want to please people, also affect learning levels.
In one study, scientists tracked a group of more than 50 reading levels of children between grades one and four. The study showed that most of the children who were poor readers in first grade were also poor readers in fourth grade, while 80 percent of the students who were good readers in first grade still read well in fourth grade.
The idea that learning and developmental delays will fix themselves is unfounded. In many cases, children with learning delays will have to undergo intensive tutoring. More delays may require additional help, particularly with children who have autism, dyslexia, ADHD, or other delays in learning and development.
It can be difficult for parents to admit that something is wrong with their child. However, when parents notice that their child is not developing at the right rate, resorting to early intervention will give their child the best chance of success. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for learning delays at least three times between 9 and 30 months of age. These exams are done during routine physical exams. Children under the age of three may qualify for help without an actual diagnosis.
Substantial delays are likely to require a thorough developmental assessment. If doctors confirm learning or developmental delays early, therapy sessions can help. This type of treatment can help with poor communication skills, aggressiveness, and harmful behavior. Early intervention will help parents and teachers help their children better adjust to the world around them and will facilitate the development of coping strategies together.