“Mama” or “Dada”- hearing your baby’s first word is a major milestone. And that milestone will be one of many to look forward to as a caregiver. There are a lot of perspectives and opinions on when a child should talk, lose their first tooth, or begin to read. Exactly when should a child know how to tie a shoe? The amount of information on childhood development can be overwhelming, conflicting, or confusing.

But more importantly, what do you do if you are worried that your child might be behind?

Childhood development is unique to every child, yet it can be identified through predictable physical, emotional, and psychological changes, or milestones. So get involved in your child’s milestones! By tracking the timing of your child’s development you can monitor and help support their growth. With your help, potential delays can be identified and addressed by a healthcare provider. Intervention is key, and the earlier action is taken, the better the outcome.

So, about those milestones. If they are predictable yet unique, how do you know what is normal and what may need intervention?

OT (2)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” initiative is filled with authoritative information on early childhood development, written just for parents. Learn about the typical ages for major developmental milestones, download a worksheet to track your own child’s development, and find ways to support your child as they grow.

The site also features information on what to do if you are concerned about your child’s development. Children who enter school with developmental delays have a difficult time catching up to their age-appropriate learning with a delay. There are helpful materials on how to prepare for an appointment and information on screenings and evaluations.

If you suspect that your child may have a delay, contact a healthcare provider. Early evaluation and referral bring more timely treatment. Hearing Speech + Deaf Center professionals can aid in overcoming developmental delays. Through our work with partners such as the United Way and Cincinnati Public Schools, HSDC understands the far-reaching impact of communication barriers prior to entry into kindergarten and first grade. With early intervention, the treatment of speech, communication, and other delays can increase a child’s chance of success as they progress through their education towards graduation.

Visit the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early website or take their quiz below!

Hearing Speech + Deaf Center is a nonprofit clinic providing top-notch audiology services and speech-language therapy for children and adults; occupational therapy for children; and advocacy, American Sign Language interpreting, job development, and other D/deaf programming and services to individuals and families confronting unique communication challenges.