From the day a child is born, he/she will begin to achieve various milestones. As your child develops and grows, it is critical to remember that each child is different from one another. There is a wide range of what is considered to be “typical” development. As a parent, you are the primary monitor of your child’s social and emotional development, but you should also take your child to his/her well visits so your pediatrician can monitor your child’s progress.
The relationship between a parent and physician is extremely important – it’s the best way to monitor the development of a child. A parent brings powerful observation and experience, reinforced by a sense of love and responsibility, while a physician monitors a child’s physical, cognitive and emotional development at each visit. Through observation, measurement, screening, and discussion with parents, a physician can evaluate the development of your child.
If you have concerns: ACT!
If you and your physician have concerns about your child’s developmental progress, take action and arrange for a routine developmental screening.
You know your child best of anyone. “Don’t worry,” does not mean, “don’t take action.” Many children go undiagnosed because parents are told to give it more time. If you sense there is an issue, press your physician to evaluate your child – or send you to someone who will. Monitoring your child’s social, emotional or communication skills are just as vital as responding to any physical concerns you may have about your child.
While you may feel embarrassed, confused or worried, please remember you are not alone – your physician has probably heard it all. If your child is not meeting his/her developmental milestones, take that first, key step to getting help.
You are the expert on your child and spend the most time with them. If you are concerned that your newborn, infant, or toddler is not growing or developing (crawling, walking, talking) as he or she should, you do not have to wait to act. You can seek early help. The first three years of life are important, formative years in maximizing a child's future potential. You can begin by contacting (NJEIS) by calling 1- 888-653-4463. NJEIS, under the Department of Health, implements New Jersey's statewide system of services for eligible infants and toddlers, birth to age three and their families.
For children birth to age 21 with special health care needs, referrals can be made through 21 county Special Child Health Case Management Units. Additional information is available online.
For helpful information regarding developmental milestones for children birth – 3 years old, please review the brochure Your Child’s Development Important Milestones (0-36 months) online.