Looking for signs of developmental delays

Looking for signs of developmental delays

Editor's note: This story is part of our three-part Special Families series about families with special needs children.

Most parents feel their baby is changing and developing new skills almost daily. Parents should be mindful of the many developmental milestones and take note if babies aren't hitting these goals within the recommended time period.

Sloan Todd of Path Finders Team Services in Charleston said it's important for parents to remember that each child is different. They should use checklists as a guide and not overly stress if their child is slightly off schedule.

Parents with concerns can consult their pediatrician or contact BabyNet, the state's early intervention system for children younger than age 3.

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions caused by an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. About one in six U.S. children have one or more developmental disabilities or delays, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are the typical developmental milestones for children through age 2:

At 2 months:

• Smiles at people.

• Tries to look at parent.

• Cooing, gurgling.

• Turns head toward sounds.

• Can hold head up and begins to push when lying on tummy.

At 6 months:

• Likes to look at self in mirror.

• Responds to own name.

• Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure.

• Brings things to mouth.

• Rolls over in both directions.

• Begins to sit without support.

At 1 year:

• Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing.

• Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake.”

• Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye.”

• Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!”

• Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container.

• Pulls to stand, walks holding.

At 18 months:

• May have temper tantrums.

• Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll.

• Says several words.

• Shakes head “no.”

• Scribbles on his own.

• Walks alone.

• Drinks from a cup, eats with a spoon

At 2 years:

• Shows more and more independence.

• Shows defiant behavior.

• Plays mainly beside other children.

• Says sentences with 2 to 4 words.

• Begins to sort shapes and colors.

• Builds towers of 4 or more blocks.

• Stands on tiptoe.

• Climbs onto and down from furniture without help.

Source: cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/

Additional resources:



For red flags of autism spectrum disorder: