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Developmental Milestones for Your Adopted Child

Medical

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  Written by Julian Davies, MD Center for Adoption Medicine, University of Washington on 10 Sep 2015

Here are some resources to help understand the order and timing of typical developmental milestones. Remember that institutionalized children are often delayed by up to 1 month for every 3 months in that setting, that there's a wide age-range of "typical" even in family-raised children, and that it's usually more useful to focus on the sequence and tempo of developmental achievement rather than strict timing of milestones. If you do have concerns about your child's development, please share them with your child's providers, and consider an Early Intervention evaluation.

  • The Talaris Institute has a lovely Timeline of Development that illustrates how children develop in the first five years in social/emotional, cognitive, language, sensory, and motor domains
  • Pathways Chart of Birth-15mo Developmental Milestones
  • In-depth review article from Pediatrics in Review on birth-2yo growth and development, with detailed motor, cognitive & speech, and psychosocial charts. Written for pediatricians, but accessible enough for parents.
  • The same journal has another review article on toddler development (1-3yo), with 18mo, 24mo, and 36mo developmental charts
  • The excellent Talking with Toddlers website/book has a nice checklist of expressive words and signs that your child may be using, as well as a Language Log for the refrigerator door. Since caregivers reliably underestimate how many words a child uses, these will help you add them up and keep track of new words if you have any concerns about expressive language.
  • When it comes to language development in orphanage-raised children, Sharon Glennen has some very useful pre-adoption language questions for parents to ask, as well as tables of typical post-adoption language development in international adoptees.

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