The way your child learns, plays, and acts shows you important steps in development. All children grow and develop at their own rate. However, most follow a predictable skill path along the way. These skill paths are called developmental milestones; skills that most children can perform by a certain age. Use the checklist below to determine what milestones your child has completed by 18 months of age.
By 18 months most babies:
Fine Motor (skills that require balance and movement of small muscle groups)
_ Stack small toys on top of one another.
_ Make marks on paper with a crayon.
_ Turn pages of a book independently.
_ Get a spoon into their mouth right side up.
Cognitive (memory, problem solving, thinking, and overall play)
_ Turn a small container over to dump out the contents if they cannot reach inside (with or without a demonstration).
_ Imitate drawing a line from the top of the paper to the bottom.
_ Imitate new movements such as wiggling their fingers.
_ Point to objects to tell you what they want.
_ Imitate or say eight to ten words consistently.
_ Point to the correct picture when you say “Show me the kitty” or “Where’s the shoe?”
_ Follow simple directions without visual cues such as pointing to an object.
_ Play apart from a familiar person for 5 minutes.
_ Approach other children (eye contact/smiling).
_ Bring toys or objects over to you if they need help.
_ Bend over and pick up a toy and stand up without falling.
_ Walk independently with little falling or tripping.
_ Walk down stairs with a hand held.
_ May begin to run.
_ Drink from an open cup independently.
_ Feed themselves with a spoon with some spilling.
_ Chew well, without choking or gagging.
_ Rarely put non-food objects in mouth.
Talk to your doctor or contact an early intervention program in your community if you notice any of the following signs of a possible developmental delay in your child of 18 months:
_ Doesn’t point to or show things to others.
_ Doesn’t walk independently.
_ Doesn’t know what familiar things are for.
_ Doesn’t copy others.
_ Don’t gain new words.
_ Doesn’t notice if caregivers leave or return.
_ Loss of skills.
ASQ. Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ – 3)
CDD. Centers for Disease Control <www.cdc.gov>
D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.