Screening Your Child’s Development
A screening is a quick look at how your child is developing and learning. People trained to determine how your child is developing conduct screenings to:
- Find out what areas of development—if any—are behind what would be expected for your child.
- Help an evaluation team decide what type of evaluation may be best for your child and who should be involved.
- Find out if your child’s development is “on target” even though a problem was suspected.
If the screening shows your child’s development is “on target,” it is unlikely that your child will be eligible for early intervention services. Even if the screening suggests your child is developing fine, you have the right to ask for, and get, a full multidisciplinary evaluation for your child. Other professionals involved with your family, such as a pediatrician or other provider involved in your child’s life, may have already screened your child’s development.
If this is the case, it is important for Imagine! to have this information at the time of referral.
Child Development Milestones
How do I screen my child's development?
The following examples provide parents and caregivers with information about young children’s learning and development from birth through 4 years old. Of course, each child develops at his or her own pace, and there is a broad range of what is considered typical development among young children. However, development generally occurs in a predictable sequence and children about the same age will acquire the same skills.
You know your child best, so you’re likely to make the most accurate observations about your child’s development. Follow your instincts. If you are worried about how your child is developing, talk with a professional. You can request a free evaluation at any time to answer questions about your infant or toddler’s development, and determine whether your child may benefit from early intervention supports and services. To begin that process call Early Intervention Colorado (toll-free) 1-888-777-4041. If your child is a 3 or 4 year old, contact your local school district.
Most Babies from Birth to 3 months old ...
- cry to show discomfort or fatigue and quiet when comforted
- use eyes to follow people and objects and gaze at caregiver
- react to sudden movements or noises
- move arms and legs easily
- smile and make gurgling and cooing sounds
- hit or kick an object to make a pleasing sight or sound continue
- lift head up while lying on their tummy
Most Babies 3–6 months old ...
- reach for and grasp toys
- look toward an interesting toy or sound
- explore by banging, rattling and dropping objects
- hold head up without support
- laugh aloud in response to touches or sounds
- roll over
- make babbling sounds
- smile at familiar faces
Most Babies 6–9 months old ...
- imitate the sounds made by parents
- sit up without support
- use sounds to get your attention
- know strangers from family
- respond to their own name
- pass objects from hand to hand
Most Babies 9-12 months old ...
- follow simple requests (“Give it to me.”)
- pick up items using their thumb and index finger.
- jabber word-like sounds
- begin to use gestures to let you know what she wants and needs (wave bye-bye, shake head no, etc.)
- creep or crawl
- pull self to a standing position and may walk holding onto furniture or hands
- hug, pat, kiss familiar people
Most Toddlers 12–15 months old ...
- begin walking with help
- say “dada” and “mama” and a few other words
- like social games like pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo
- go to a familiar adult for affection, help, or comfort
- feed self cracker or other finger foods
- look when you call them by name
- repeat actions that produce laughter and attention
Most Toddlers 15–18 months old ...
- take off their own shoes, socks and easy-to-remove clothing
- walk alone or with very little help
- point to things when named
- ask for simple things like “cookie” and “milk”
- want individual attention and say “mine” often
- listen to simple short stories, songs and rhymes
- pull at another person to show them some action or object
- greet peers and familiar adults when reminded
Most 2 year olds ...<
- combine two words together: “more milk” “daddy home”
- use their own names to talk about themselves
- turn the pages of a book
- walk, run, jump, and throw a ball
- like doing things their own way and say “no” often
- pretend (feeding dolls or animals, talking on a play telephone)
- know the function of common household objects (toothbrush, fork, telephone)
- enjoy playing alongside other children but may not share their toys
- show their feelings through actions and vocalizations (love, mad, sad, joy)
Most 3 year olds ...
- follow two simple requests (get the book and put it on the table)
- can be understood by family members and caregivers
- use objects symbolically (using a banana for a phone, or a block for a car)
- climb stairs, but may hold onto the railing
- talk about feelings and tell pretend stories
- use the bathroom during the day
- know the difference between ‘boy’ and ‘girl’
- begin to share toys and play with other children
- greet familiar adults without reminders
- want to please others
- show affection for younger children
Most 4 year olds ...
- can hop on one foot, can catch a ball
- enjoy singing simple songs and saying nursery rhymes
- use crayons to draw on paper
- are understood by most people they talk with
- like pretend play but may not always know the difference between ‘real’ and ‘pretend’
- show concern and sympathy
- begin to express own feelings (mad, happy, etc.) in words