Since I’m the development specialist, I want to discuss development some more with you. I think most parents (and some professionals) hear the phrase “child development” without fully grasping what it really means. And you may wonder how you can see development in your home with your child. Typically, child development is categorized into five different areas:

  1.     Gross Motor: This is the big movement kind of development.
  • Rolling over
  • Crawling
  • Running
  • Climbing
  • Kicking a ball
  1.     Fine Motor: This typically involves development of our hands
  • Grabbing and holding toys
  • Finger feeding
  • Pointing
  • Holding a crayon
  • Stringing beads
  1.     Cognition: is basically problem solving. How is your child thinking through their play? Are they understanding concepts?
  • Building a tower of blocks
  • Completing a puzzle
  • Matching shapes (building a tower of blocks, completing a puzzle, matching shapes, etc)
  • Sitting through a book
  1.     Self-help: is just what it sounds like. Are they able help themselves?
  • Holding their own bottle
  • Falling asleep on their own
  • Finger feeding
  • Using a spoon to feed themselves
  • Helping get themselves dressed
  • Using the bathroom
  1.    Social/ Emotional: This is a biggie. Social/Emotional is how your child interacts with others
  • Interactions with peers
  • Interactions with adults
  • Temper tantrums
  • Regulating emotions
  • Even saying ‘No’ often is part of development
  • Pretend play

Basically, what I am getting at is that development really incorporates all the different things you want your child to be doing, and encouraging development in your child is a big job because you have nurture your sprout in all five categories! These categories are all related and interdependent. For example, did you know that when an infant starts to crawl, they are facilitating literacy later in life? Who would have guessed?!

I will be writing about different ways of encouraging development in all 5 categories (and a lot of these methods help encourage growth in more than one!), but I hope you remember that it is all part of a bigger picture. Every child is unique and has natural strengths and weaknesses, but being aware and informed can help you nurture your sprout the way that will help them become the best they can be. Who doesn’t want that?!

For those of you who choose to subscribe, I’ll send out a checklist of development milestones that I use in my professional career. I have found this checklist  to be a great way to assess the needs of the kiddos I work with, and I hope you will use it to help your own children!


*The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.  This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-provider relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.  Please consult your healthcare provider before making any diet or treatment decisions.

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