Understanding Developmental Milestones

Developmental milestones represent the “checkpoints” for a child that typically mark the acquisition of new abilities. They are the building blocks of growth, learning, and development, encompassing a wide range of skills from physical movements like crawling and walking to social and emotional skills such as interacting with peers and expressing emotions.

For children that need additional support, understanding what these milestones are, and then how to get the child to that point is a core part of the plan that we will help you draw up when you come to Lizard Centre.
What is most important is to understand that there is no template approach to this. Every child develops differently, and the plan and approach to milestones should recognise this.

Early Intervention: A Proactive Approach

Early intervention is a systematic program of therapy, exercises, and activities designed to address developmental delays in children and help them reach their developmental milestones.

It aims to enhance the development of infants and young children who are at risk of falling behind their peers. This proactive approach can significantly alter a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes across a variety of domains, including cognitive, behavioural, and social-emotional development.

Identifying Developmental Delays

Identifying developmental delays early is crucial to being able to maximise the outcomes from early intervention therapy. An understanding of developmental milestones can help here, too, because it can help you to understand whether you should be reaching out to Lizard Centre.

Of course, because each child develops differently, the exact time frames can vary, but if you have any concerns, then it is better to speak to experts early on.

There is actually a wide range of developmental categories – Physical, Social, Emotional, Cognitive, and Language. There is also category of other warning signs that could indicate developmental challenges.

These are outlined in-depth by ACECQA for children from birth to the age of five, and it would be a good idea to look through this and familiarise yourself with it. Within each category you will see as many as a dozen activities that indicate that they’ve achieved this milestone. However, it might be that they struggle with one or two bullet points within the overall list. This isn’t inherently a cause for concern – for example, ACECQA lists “talks constantly” as an indicator of the Language milestone for children aged 3-5. Just what “constantly” means can be different from situation to situation, so a quieter child is not necessarily an indication that they’re struggling to achieve the milestone.

However, if a child is not meeting the substance of this checklist, it may be an indication of a developmental delay, and it’s a good idea to speak to some experts to explore further. The earlier a developmental delay is noticed, the more effective the early intervention program can be.

Addressing Delays Through Early Intervention

When a developmental delay is suspected, early intervention can assist in several ways:

  • Therapeutic Support: Tailored therapies such as speech, occupational, applied behaviour analysis, and physical therapy can help children catch up in their development.
  • Educational Programs: Special programs can provide structured learning environments where children can develop essential skills.
  • Family Support: It’s really important for the success of any early intervention program that all people involved with the child’s development – including parents and teachers – is aligned on the best path to support their child’s development. One of the key areas that Lizard Centre supports families is in helping to facilitate this alignment.

The Role of Lizard Centre

What sets Lizard Centre apart is the evidence-based approach that we take to helping children achieve their developmental milestones. By utilising behavioural techniques within a nurturing environment, the Lizard Centre ensures that each child’s unique needs are met, empowering them to reach their full potential.

In conclusion, understanding developmental milestones is fundamental to recognising the early signs of developmental delays. Early intervention is a powerful tool that can provide children with the support they need to overcome challenges and thrive. The Lizard Centre’s commitment to early intervention exemplifies the positive impact that specialised care and support can have on a child’s life.

Published On : May 28, 2024

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