“What milestones should my child be hitting?”
Milestones in child development are what most child do by a certain age. The CDC and the HSE have published typical milestone trackers which you can use to monitor your child’s development. Parents that use my services typically are concerned that their children are not developing at their expected stage of development. What is important to remember is when you are looking at your child’s overall development, you don’t just look at one certain area. You need to take into account your child learning how to learn, how to think, how they adapt, learning how they play, learning how they move and learning how they behave and speak. All of these are so important so you need to look at the whole child’s development and not to focus on one area if you feel your child is not hitting those milestones.
Sometimes children may not be achieving in one area, but in the rest of the areas they seem to be developing fine and I wouldn’t be concerned about this. Take note when your child is not developing in a number of areas, this is when you may need to be concerned. If it is only one or two areas, then the child must develop at their own pace.
If you have a child who is aged between 2 and 3, there are huge milestones to go through at this age. If you are reading what milestones your child should be hitting and noticing there are some your child has not achieved, before you get concerned, look back at the developmental milestones of an 18 month old. If your child has generally achieved most of those, then it is okay to not be overall concerned and let the child develop at their own pace.
If however your child is aged 2 to 3 years and they haven’t reached many of the developmental milestones of an 18 month old then perhaps it might be time for you to do further investigations and examinations.
Your first port of call would be your child’s public health nurse to air your concerns. However in most cases, your child has finished with their visits from their public health nurse so in this case I would advise to make contact with your GP and go in and discuss your concerns. Your GP can then point you in the right direction of whether your child needs physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or a child psychologist.
Don’t take too long to discuss your concerns with your GP as there are many waiting lists and it can take time to find the right person.