fine motor skills

Fine Motor Skills: Milestones Checklist, 0-2 yrs

Fine motor skills are an important part of child development. They prepare children not only for writing, an everyday skill, but also for eating, dressing, and other important self-help skills. Here are some skills your child 0-2 years old should be exhibiting:

Birth to 3 months

  • Hand to Mouth
  • Reflexive grasp (Place a finger in your child’s palm. Child should automatically hold your finger)
  • Visually Tracking High contrast toys (Red, black, and white have been shown to be the most intriguing to this group). Tracking center (midline) to side (both left and right)

3-6 months

  • Swipes at dangling objects
  • Follows moving objects with eyes (3-5 seconds is a typical attention span)
  • Recognizes bottle
  • Grasp and shakes rattle

6-9 months

  • Raking small objects
  • Clapping
  • Poking finger in hole
  • Transfer object from one hand to another
  • Explores toys with hands and mouth

9-12 months

  • Pincer grasp (a three finger approach to picking up things like cheerios)
  • Removes socks
  • Removes 2-3 pegs from peg board
  • Puts objects in and takes them out of containers
  • 30 second visual and auditory attention span

fine motor skills

12-24 months

  • Opens book, turns single page
  • Tapping spoon
  • Helps with dressing
  • Plays quietly 5-10 minutes
  • 5 minute plus attention span with a single toy
  • Stacks 2-6 blocks
  • Dumps objects out of a container
  • Scribbles in imitation of vertical stroke
  • Inserts three shapes into shape sorter
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speech and language milestones

Speech and Language Milestones: Birth through Kinder

Speech and language milestones are important little snippets that give us insight into how a child is developing. If your child is falling behind, they might just need a little help to achieve more. It might be a sign of some larger problem, but there is also a great chance that if you address their language now they will be ready to learn in school. Here are some great speech and language milestones to look for:

9 months- Produces long chains of consonant-vowel combinations

12 to 18 months- Identifies up to 6 body parts; Asks for “more”; Says 8-15 words; Follows one step commands; Uses the t, d, n, and h sounds

18 to 24 months- Imitates environmental noises; Uses 50 words; Uses me, my, mine; Uses 2 word phrases; Understands action words

2 to 3 years- Responds to WH questions, Responds to greeting, Expresses physical states (like tired, thirsty); Identifies 4 object by function (like, What do you eat with?)

3 to 5 years- Follows two step unrelated commands (like, put away the book and close the door); Uses the consonants: m, p,b,k,g,v,sh,ch; speaks intelligibility 90-100% with unfamiliar listener; answers yes/no correctly

speech and language milestones

 

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Learning Disabilities: Learning the Facts

 

 

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High Functioning Autism: Signs and Perspective

High Functioning Autism, HFA, as of 2013 absorbed the label Aspergers. This is the result of the DSM-5 (the test to label it) replacing what it was labeled as. There is talk of another test changing these possibilities in 2017, but that is up in the air. This interesting link was sent to me. It compiles a bunch of different individuals with autism and gives you their insight as to what it feel like to have autism. As we know it is important to think what it feels like to walk in another persons shoes, and hearing it directly from them is the best source. Obviously it is a spectrum and each individual has unique experiences, but there is also something that binds them as a group. By understanding them better, we can be better educators, parents, advocates, therapists, and/or whatever other way in which we relate to one another. It is just part of understanding better how all the the puzzle pieces.

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Here are some signs of High Functioning Autism:

  • Inability to build friendship
  • Social awkwardness
  • Clumsiness
  • Hyper-focus
  • Extremely stuck on their routines
  • Lack of/forced eye contact
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Literal Interpretations
  • Difficulty with fine motor (writing, cutting)
  • Selective Muteness

All of these might not apply to your child or your child might have acquired skills to ‘fake’ some of these. Remember each child on the spectrum is different. Also the link above provides great stories that provide insight to adults with high functioning autism. It seems most are leading full lives, so although autism doesn’t fall in the ‘norm,’ and I do suggest getting your child as much help as possible…there are great possibilities ahead.

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Learning disabilities

Learning Disabilities: Learning the Facts

Learning Disabilities cover a wide variety of symptoms, causes, outcomes, and treatments. This can make it difficult to diagnose or to pinpoint the causes. Learning Disabilities can be divided up into three broad categories. These include: developmental speech and language disorders, academic skills disorders, and Other (includes certain coordination disorders and learning handicaps not covered by the other terms). Each one of these categories includes a number of more specific disorders. Since each child with LD, learning disorders, is so different, there futures with the disability are different as well.

Learning disabilities

There are many early warning signs of future learning disabilities. One of which is speech delays. Kids with weaknesses in oral language have difficulty both with understanding what is said to them and with formulating responses. It can lead to further speech problems, like if a child often failing to understand what an adult say, missing important points, and misinterpreting directions. There are early intervention services available for many children, which can help the child to achieve their verbal goals.  Your local Division of Developmental Disabilities can direct you to the appropriate system to get a baby or toddler evaluated.

  • Although it is possible students will out grow this, there has been much research done on the correlation between speech-delayed preschoolers and students with learning disabilities.
  • Early identification is the best way to prevent further disabilities
  • 
Learning Disabilities affect many children and adults in our community.
  • Some students may be able to reach there full potential in a total inclusion environment, but many need extra assistance from resource rooms or special education classrooms.  The students needs should be truly considered in order for them to be best prepared for school and eventually for a successful career.  The child’s classroom needs and educational goals should be outlined in their IEP, Individual Education Plan.
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gifted children challenges

Gifted Children: Existential Depression and Other Challenges

Gifted children can face many unique challenges. This interesting article was sent to me on how children who are uniquely gifted are also more challenged because they are so in-tuned with so many things. Existential depression might be more prevalent to them as gifted children are truly great philosophers and thinkers, so it is natural for them to want to link meaning to their lives and search out bigger questions. Unfortunately existential depression itself has not been widely researched and does not have a specific known therapeutic approach that works well for it. It is good to know however that gifted children are more than just brilliant minds. They too face many challenges. Finding friends can be hard from a young age. Often they do not understand their peers because their peers do not keep up with their train of thought. Over-excitability and oversensitivity in general, to their environments are very common in gifted children. When your mind is going so fast and you are receiving so much information from your environment, it is understandable as to why you too would be overwhelmed. These children have a lot to sort out and even more that they want to create. It is hard for them to find the perfect balance. Studies suggest between 1in 50 to 1 in 200 of academically gifted students drop out before completing high school. Now the numbers might be high due to SES or some other outside factor, but the fact remains that brilliant minds are falling through the cracks.

gifted children challenges
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