What Happens if My Child Misses Milestones?
Milestones are typical behaviors and physical skills that children develop as they grow. For example, most children start crawling by 9 months or saying 20 words by 18 months. But these are just averages.
Every child misses a milestone or two. One missed milestone is not a big deal, but you should talk to your doctor if:
- Your infant or toddler misses multiple milestones at once.
For instance, your 6-month-old might not be able to roll over from tummy to back and also doesn’t laugh.
- Your child misses multiple milestones in the same category.
For instance, they have multiple gross motor skills delays, like crawling and walking late.
- Your child loses skills they had.
If your child used to speak or walk fine, but now cannot, you should call your child’s pediatrician.
6 Ways to Help Your Child Meet Milestones They've Missed
1. Act early: The sooner your child receives help, the faster they can catch up with their peers.
2. Attend well-child visits. Your child's pediatrician can assess their growth and help tack important milestones.
3. Get a referral to a specialist. A pediatric neurologist and rehabilitation medicine specialist can do an in-depth assessment of your child's development.
4. Get a referral to a therapist. Physical, occupational, or speech therapy services can provide special activities and exercises to help your child.
5. Teach your child at home. Work on any skills or activities that your child's therapist(s) suggests at home.
6. Visit Florida Early Steps or call 1-800-218-0001. Find out if your child (birth to 36 months) is eligible for free early intervention services.
Physical, occupational and speech therapists at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital know how to help your child catch up on developmental milestones with fun, engaging therapy. Learn more about our Pediatric Rehabilitation services.