4 Questions to Ask a Developmental Pediatrician
As a parent or guardian, it is up to you to make sure your children are reaching their developmental milestones, or seek out professional medical help from pediatricians. At Julia Barriga M. D. P. A in Tampa, FL our developmental pediatrician will help you in developing your child’s skills. For more information, call us or simply book an appointment. We are conveniently located at 5001 East Busch Blvd Tampa, FL 33617.
How are my child’s language skills developing?
As children age, their language skills will begin to develop, and it usually starts with sounds and gestures, which turn into words and sentences. You can help with this by talking to your child a lot, they learn by mimicking you and responding when your child communicates. Reading books or even telling stories also helps with their language development.
The first eight years of a child’s language development milestones will look similar to this:
- 3 to 12 Months of Age
Usually, you will begin to hear your baby start to coo, laugh, and smile around 3 months of age. As they grow, they will use sounds to communicate as well as gestures like pointing or waving.
4 to 6 months of age they will begin babbling and making single-syllable sounds like “ba”, then start to repeat it. Their first words that will have any meaning will likely begin after they are 12 months old.
If your baby isn’t babbling by 12 months of age, it is best to bring them in so we can review their language skills development.
- 12 to 18 Months of Age
Usually between the 12-to-18-month mark children will begin to say words that have meaning. This may include the words “dada” or “mama”. From here the child’s language vocabulary will start to understand almost everything you say, and you should be able to understand most of what they say.
If your child is not speaking some words by 18 months, it is best to bring them in so we can review their language skills development.
- 18 Months to 2 Years of Age
By now, your child will begin the phase of putting 2 words together to form a short sentence. Unfamiliar people will begin to understand half of what they are saying.
If your child is not speaking some words in short 2-word sentences by 2 years of age, or understanding simple instructions like “sit down”, it is best to bring them in so we can review their language skills development.
- 2 to 3 Years of Age
Your child can most likely speak sentences of 3-to-4 words by now and is becoming much better at saying words correctly. You may notice your child playing and talking at the same time as well.
- 3 to 5 Years of Age
At this age, you should be seeing more complex and longer conversations play out, with your child beginning to talk about their thoughts and feelings. They will begin to talk about things, people, and places that are presented in front of them, and will bring up memories to talk about like “remember that park with the purple slide?”
- 5 to 8 Years of Age
These are considered the school years, and your child will learn even more words and understand how the sounds within the language work together. Your child will be a better storyteller as they put words together in multiple different ways and build on top of their already developed language skills. By the age of eight, your child will be able to have adult-like conversations.
If you are noticing your child is not reaching these developmental milestones, it is highly recommended you seek help for their language development.
Is there anything I should worry about regarding my child’s speech?
Delayed speech within their language development is noticed by 12 months of age. If your child is not using gestures, like pointing or waving to say bye; 18 months of age if they are using gestures instead of words to communicate and they are having issues imitating sounds you are making or that they hear, it is highly recommended they visit a physician regarding their speech. Julia Barriga MD is a pediatrician that specializes in children’s development including their speech, we have the tools to help get your child the extra learning tools needed to move past their speech delay.
How are their gross and fine motor skills?
Motor development skills are separated into two groups, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills use skills that involve large muscle movements like sitting, crawling, walking, or running.
Fine motor skills involve the smaller muscles which are grasping, drawing, and object manipulation.
Gross motor skills are developed earlier on within the first 3 – 24 months of their life, starting with holding their head up, to sitting up, rolling over, and crawling to larger things like standing, walking, and running. While their fine motor skills are developed later on around the 5-to-18-month range they will begin to grasp toys, or food, learn to turn toys over in their hands and draw or color.
Should I be concerned if my child does not socialize with other people?
If your child does not have the desire to play with others by the age of 3, it is a trigger for concern, and the child should be seen by a pediatrician for a developmental review.
Failing to socialize your children within the early years can have consequences that can last.
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