Differences in behaviors may be noted in the following areas:

Sensory Behaviors:  
  • Poor use of visual discrimination when learning
  • Seems not to hear, so that a hearing loss is suspected
  • Sometimes shows no “startle response” to loud noise”
  • Sometimes painful stimuli such as bruises, cuts, and injections evoke no reaction
  • Often will not blink when bright light is directed toward eyes
  • Covers ears at many sounds
  • Squints, frowns, or covers eyes when in the presence of natural light
  • Frequently has no visual reaction to a “new” person
  • Stares into space for long periods of time

Relating Behaviors:  
  • Frequently does not attend to social/environmental stimuli
  • Has no social smile
  • Does not reach out when reached for
  • Not responsive to other people’s facial expressions/feelings
  • Actively avoids eye contact
  • Resists being touched or held
  • Is flaccid when held in arms
  • Is stiff and hard to held
  • Does not imitate other children at play
  • Has not developed any friendships
  • Often frightened or very anxious
  • “Looks through” people

Body and Object Use Behaviors:  
  • Whirls self for long periods of time
  • Does not use toys appropriately
  • Insists on keeping certain objects with him/her
  • Rocks self for long periods of time
  • Does a lot of lunging and darting
  • Flaps hands
  • Walks on toes
  • Hurts self by banging head, biting hand, etc…
  • Twirls, spins, and bangs objects a lot
  • Will feel, smell, and/or taste objects in the environment
  • Gets involved in complicated “rituals” such as lining things up, etc…
  • Is very destructive

Language Behaviors:  
  • Does not follow simple commands given once
  • Has pronoun reversal
  • Speech is atonal
  • Does not respond to own name when called out among two others
  • Seldom says “yes” or “I”
  • Does not follow simple commands involving prepositions
  • Gets desired objects by gesturing
  • Repeats phrases over and over
  • Cannot point to more than five named objects
  • Uses 0-5 spontaneous words per day to communicate wants and needs
  • Repeats sounds or words over and over
  • Echoes questions or statements made by others
  • Uses at least 15 but less than 30 spontaneous phrases daily to communicate

Other Behaviors:  
  • Learns a simple task but “forgets” quickly
  • Strong reactions to changes in routine/environment
  • Has “special abilities” in one area of development, which seems to rule out mental retardation
  • Severe temper tantrums and/or frequent minor tantrums
  • Hurts others by biting, hitting, kicking, etc…
  • Does not wait for needs to be met
  • Difficulties with toileting
  • Does not dress self without frequent help
  • Frequently unaware of surroundings, and may be oblivious to dangerous situations
  • Prefers to manipulate and be occupied with inanimate things
  • A developmental delay was identified at or before 30 months of age

Your Child’s Development — Month by Month

This table shows common developmental milestones that babies reach each month during their first year, in four major categories. Keep in mind that all babies are different and every baby grows at his own pace. There’s no precise time that most of these skills first appear. If your child hasn’t reached a milestone by the month it is listed on this chart, it is usually a perfectly normal variation in child development. Watch for progress, not deadlines.

Gross MotorFine MotorLanguage/CognitiveSocial
1 monthMoves head from side to side when on stomachStrong gripStares at hands and fingersTracks movement with eyes
2 monthsHolds head and neck up briefly while on tummyOpens and closes handsBegins to play with fingersSmiles responsively
3 monthsReaches and grabs at objectsGrips objects in handsCoosImitates you when you stick out your tongue
4 monthsPushes up on arms when lying on tummyGrabs objects — and gets them!Laughs out loudEnjoys play and may cry when playing stops
5 monthsBegins to roll over in one or the other directionIs learning to transfer objects from one hand to the otherBlows “raspberries” (spit bubbles)Reaches for mommy or daddy and cries if they’re out of sight
6 monthsRolls over both waysUses hands to “rake” small objectsBabblesRecognizes familiar faces –caregivers and friends as well as family
7 monthsMoves around –is starting to crawl, scoot, or “army crawl”Is learning to use thumb and fingersBabbles in a more complex wayResponds to other people’s expressions of emotion
8 monthsSits well without supportBegins to clap handsResponds to familiar words, looks when you say his namePlays interactive games like peekaboo
9 monthsMay try to climb/crawl up stairsUses the pincer graspLearns object permanence — that something exists even if he can’t see itIs at the height of stranger anxiety
10 monthsPulls up to standStacks and sorts toysWaves bye-bye and/or lifts up arms to communicate “up”Learns to understand cause and effect (“I cry, Mommy comes”)
11 monthsCruises, using furnitureTurns pages while you readSays “mama” or “dada” for either parentUses mealtime games (dropping spoon, pushing food away) to test your reaction; expresses food preferences
12 monthsStands unaided and may take first stepsHelps while getting dressed (pushes hands into sleeves)Says an average of 2-3 words (often “mama” and “dada”)Plays imitative games such as pretending to use the phone