Keep Tabs on Your Child's Development
You track your young child's physical growth, but how about his or her behavioral growth?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants parents to know the value of measuring a child's early social and emotional progress. The CDC's awareness campaign, Learn the Signs. Act Early, also offers warning signs of developmental disabilities.
By recognizing the signs of developmental disabilities early, parents can seek effective treatments which can dramatically improve their child's future, according to the CDC. An estimated 17 percent of U.S. children have a developmental or behavioral disability, such as autism, mental retardation, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
It's important for parents to note when their child learns to smile, how often their child smiles, when their child starts to speak, when their child begins to play, and how their child interacts with others. If a parent notices anything that seems unusual, he or she should talk with the child's doctor or health care provider.
Every child develops at his or her own pace, but most reach key milestones in a certain time range. The CDC offers an extensive list of milestones at http://www.cdc.gov/actearly. You can also request information by calling 800-232-4636.