17.1  When children develop normally

There are large variations in the way children develop. But there are some characteristics in physical, language and emotional development that all children have in common. Table 17.1 and Figure 17.2 present some important developmental milestones (significant events in development that are achieved by most children around a particular age) in early childhood. The exact age by which these milestones are achieved varies from child to child, but when there is a serious deviation from these typical developmental milestones, there is reason for concern. In the following sections we will discuss a few important conditions in which the typical development is delayed or abnormal.

Table 17.1  Normal childhood developmental milestones.
Age Physical developmentLanguage developmentEmotional development
0–1 years4 months: sits with support 8 months: stands 9 months: crawls 4 months: laughs aloud 8 months: repetitive responding 10 months ma-ma, ba-baIssues of trust are key 9 months: stranger anxiety; exploratory and solitary play 10 months: plays peek-a-boo
1–2 years13 months: starts to walk 2 years: walks alone2 word sentencesImitates No is favourite word
2–3 yearsHigh activity level Eats, drinks by selfParents understand more of what the child saysSelfish Imitates mannerisms and activities May be aggressive
3–4 yearsToilet trained. But bladder control may be delayed up to the age of 5 yearsComplete sentences Understands much moreGender-specific play Takes turns Knows full names and gender
4–5 yearsHops on one foot Avoids simple hazardsCan tell storiesNightmares and fear of monsters Imaginary friends
5–6 yearsComplete toilet controlAsks the meaning of wordsImportant to conform with peers
Examples of children’s developmental milestones
Figure 17.2  Examples of developmental milestones.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 17

17.2  A child who develops slowly