Developmental Milestones


Though each child is unique, there are specific developmental patterns of learning that are well documented. Early mastery of basic skills lays the foundation for higher level skills. If milestones are delayed, or skipped (the child displays "more advanced" milestones without progressing through earlier skills) the child can have difficulties later on. This is especially true for good vision.

Think about the analogy of toy building blocks. A firm structure that can be built is a solid pyramid. It has a strong base to hold the rest of the structure. If you have pieces missing, or if you try to build a bigger top than the base, the structure is not as stable and can come crashing down. Skills that are not fully developed are often called "splinter skills." These skills can be demonstrated by a child in certain situations, but cannot be used in all situations the skill may be called for, especially if in combination with another skill. In reading, for example, a child may be able to read individual words, but if you put them in a sentence and their motor skills are not fully developed (such as eye-teaming ability and ability to track words across a page), it becomes very difficult for the child to decipher the exact same words. However, these motor skills CAN BE TRAINED.

Following is a list of some of the expected motor milestones and the ages at which we expect to see the skill develop. A good foundation comes from good development. Remember these skills involve a combination of senses, hearing, sight, touch and so on. A deficit in any one sense, like vision, can cause delays.


Rolls over 4-5 months
Sits without support 6-7 months
Pulls to a standing position 9-10 months
Walks independently 12-14 months
Developing spatial confidence 18 months
Can seat self in small chairs 18 months
Runs 18-24 months
Enjoys jumping 24 months
Can walk on tip-toes 24 months
Plays well with large and small balls 24 months
Pedals tricycle 3 years
Climbs/descend sstairs with alternating feet 3.5-4 years
Developing coordinations 4 years
Rides a bicycle without training wheels 6-7 years


Transfers object from hand to hand 3-5 months
Brings all objects to mouth 6 months
Holds a bottle 6 months
Pincer type grasp 10-12 months

Eye movements fully coordinated but with head movement

12 months
Throws objects to the floor 12-15 months
Eyes team well with little head movement 18 months
Points to objects and pictures when identifying 18 months
Scribbles 18-24 months
Converges eyes easily & accurately to inspect objects

24 months

Copies a circle

3 years
Eyes team well at all distances 3 years
All visual-tacual integrations now developing quickly 3 years

Buttons clothes

3.5 years
Using eyes & hands together productively & with increased skill 4 years
Catchs a ball 4-5 years
Ties shoelaces 5-6 years


Attends to familiar voices 3-4 months
Babbles 5-6 months
"Mama" & "Dada" used 12 months
Recognizes names of familiar objects 13-15 months
Can follow simple commands 15-18 months
Two-word sentences 2 years
Simple sentences (subject, verb and object) 3 years
Can name primary colors 4 years
Vocabulary of 2000-2500 words, counts to "10" 5 years




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