Milestones Matter
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2022

Milestones Matter

Trusting your instincts and finding help for your child

Watching your baby grow and learn to do new things is an exciting time. It also provides the chance to make sure your child’s development is on track.

While most babies reach developmental milestones around certain ages, some may take longer. In many instances, the delay is simply that: a delay. But in other cases, the delay may signal a bigger issue.

“The important thing for parents to realize is that most developmental delays aren’t permanent,” says Jennie Moon, program coordinator of Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) Early Intervention in Bennington. “Many children just need a little extra attention and effort to help them catch up with fine motor skills, speech, or other things. The important thing is to get the support they need as early as possible. Intervention is most effective when it’s done early and during the most critical time of development.”

Getting the help your child needs in a way that works for you
In a typical day, Moon and her colleagues meet with 35 families, either in the families’ homes, at the CIS offices in downtown Bennington, or even at local coffee shops. “Wherever works best for the family,” says Moon.

“We currently work with about 180 children ranging from birth to age 3,” says Moon. “Sometimes a worried mom or dad will call, or we might get a call from a family doctor asking us to assess how a child is doing. As specialists in childhood development, we look at how a child is doing in all aspects of development. We do an initial hour-or-so long assessment that covers speech, visual engagement, play skills, hearing, and even lactation. From that assessment, we make recommendations on what kind of intervention might help the child progress. The great news is that many of the services we recommend are available at no cost to the family.

Caring that works for the whole family
Even in the best circumstances, parenting is hard work. “Which is why,” says Moon, “we do everything we can to make it easy for parents to access the services their child might need. We fill out paperwork, coordinate rides, assist with contacting local resources for safety gates, cabinet locks, and even a spare tire if needed! The goal is to give every child the best start possible so that they can reach their full potential.”

Moon adds, “If you have questions about your child’s development, trust your instincts: you know your child best. Talk to your pediatrician or reach out to CIS. Getting the help your child needs is easier that you realize and can make a world of difference for the rest of their life.”

Milestones to watch for between 0 – 3 years of age

  • 3 months: Turn their head towards bright color and lights, move both eyes in the same direction together, recognize breast or bottle, react to sudden sounds and voices, make cooing sounds, make fists with both hands, grasp toys or hair, wiggle and kick arms and legs, lift head and chest when on stomach, smile
  • 6 months: Turn toward the source of normal sound, reach for objects and pick them up, switch toys from one hand to the other, play with their toes, help hold a bottle during feeding, recognize familiar faces, babble
  • 12 months: Sit without support, pull to standing position, crawl, drink from a cup, play peek-a-boo and patty cake, wave bye-bye, hold out arms and legs while being dressed, put objects in a container, stack two blocks, use three or more words consistently
  • 18 months: Like to push, pull, and dump things; follow simple directions; pull off socks, shoes, and mittens; like to look at pictures; feed themselves; make marks on paper with crayons; walk without help; consistently uses seven or more true single words
  • By 2 years: Use two or three-word sentences, say names of toys, recognize familiar pictures, carry something while walking, feed themselves with a spoon, play independently, turn two or three pages at a time, imitate their parents, identify body parts (hair, nose, ears, eyes) by pointing, stack four blocks, show affection
  • By 3 years: Use three to five-word sentences, put on shoes, walk upstairs alternating feet, ride a tricycle, open doors, turn one page at a time, play with other children for a few minutes, repeat common rhymes, name at least one color correctly, are toilet trained

Assessments and Support
Contact CIS Intake Coordinator Kelly Bellville at Sunrise Family Resource Center to learn more about services including developmental screenings, specialized childcare, early intervention, nursing, early childhood mental health, and family support. Towns serviced include Arlington, Bennington, Bondville, Dorset, Landgrove, Manchester, North Bennington, Peru, Pownal, Readsboro, Rupert, Sandgate, Searsburg, Shaftsbury, Stamford, Sunderland, Winhall, and Woodford. 802-442-6934


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