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  • Writer's pictureAlley Dezenhouse Kelner

When Milestones are Missed

Developmental milestones and I have a love-hate relationship.

On one hand, I have a deep appreciation for the benchmark goals that predict typical development; from a strictly scientific perspective, I find it comforting to know that there is a formula for assessing growth. On the other hand, as a parent and as a professional who has worked towards achieving milestones in my kiddos, I find milestones can be a bit overrated when it comes to predicting long term outcomes for my clients. I love the idea of a formula that predicts outcome, but there has to be some room for individuality—right? Milestones...can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.

Do they predict typical developmental patterns? Yes. Do kids who miss particular milestones ever go on to develop according to typical trajectories? Yes. Do kids who miss particular milestones ever go on to NOT develop according to typical trajectories? Yes. Does missing milestones always mean something is atypical? No! But sometimes, does missing milestones mean something is atypical?! Yes!

I tend to approach developmental milestones as a yardstick against which developmental patterns are measured, but certainly not a tool which stands alone as an assessment measure (repeat after me: Dr. Google cannot diagnose anything!). Developmental milestones actually form the foundation of many of the assessment tools we use to diagnose a variety of conditions; the difference between formal assessments which use milestones as a normative reference and parents who Google “Speech Milestones” or “Motor Milestones” only to find in horror that their child isn’t meeting the mark cannot be overstated.

So, most of us are parents (even if SOME of us are professionals too) so where does that leave us?

What if you feel, in your gut, either by formal assessment or informal Googling (yes, we’ve all Dr. Google-ed) that your child is missing milestones?

First things first, don’t panic (Edited: Also, don't obsess, and don't drive yourself crazy but also don't deny your gut instincts!)

Early intervention isn’t just for kids who later go on to get a formal diagnosis; that’s the whole idea! With early identification of needs, early teaching (that’s what treatment is at this age), you can kick start development in a way that feels more proactive than simply waiting and hoping. If nothing else—it will ease your anxiety!

Magnificent Minds is now offering summer (July & August 2017) therapeutic programming for kids 2 and 3 years old who fit the profile of late bloomers.

If you’re unsure as to whether communication skills, social skills, behaviour patterns or otherwise are on par with typical development, or you’ve been told by a health care professional that you should be creating opportunities to expand development—we can help!

For more information visit this link:

Want more info on developmental milestones? Visit this link:

Want to meet with someone to discuss an individualized parent directed program for sparking development in your tot? Visit this link:

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