Human beings go through different stages of development, from birth to when they attain maturity. There are several ways through which the development of an infant can be measured. One of the most common methods of measuring development in infants is by use of milestones.
It is common knowledge that growth and development among children usually occur at different rates and it is not surprising to find children of the same age exhibiting varying levels of development. Ideally, the disparity in levels of development is not supposed to be big among normal infants of the same age (Sigelman and Rider 133–170).
A child is considered to be having a normal development profile if he or she has functional skills that match up to the set of skills that characterize ordinary kids of his or her age. A milestone is an established set of skills configured for a particular age level and which children of this age must overcome to be regarded as normal.
The importance of using milestones in determining the development records of infants lies in the ability of this technique to detect abnormalities in their early stages. Furthermore, efficient use of milestones can lead to timely discovery of inappropriate parenting (Sigelman and Rider 133–170).
There are five major areas that need to be borne in mind when considering development milestones, these are: gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, language, and social. It is the joy of every parent to learn that their children can recognize them and even identify them by calling them daddy or mummy. This identification is only possible if the child has been mastering language skills progressively as he or she grows.
The main parameters that the tracking of language skills incorporates include: speech, ability to understand what is said by others, and other communication skills. Walking, running, standing, and sitting are some of the activities classified under the gross motor that are executed with the help of a collection of large muscles (Sigelman and Rider 133–170).
On the other hand, fine motor encompasses hand-generated activities such as, eating, writing, dressing, and drawing. Development milestones are not complete without the inclusion of cognitive capabilities which are characterized by problem-solving, learning, remembering, and understanding new concepts.
Finally, a comprehensive set of milestones will incorporate the social dynamics of a child, i.e., interpersonal relationships of the child and other people around him or her and the child’s ability to understand the feelings of others.
The most convenient person to detect developmental milestone delay in a child is the parent or guardian. It is only after a parent or guardian has detected development anomalies in a child that the services of a paediatric expert can be sought (Sigelman and Rider 133–170).
|Milestone||Tasks||First child||Second child|
|Gross motor|| ||The infant is able to turn over and rise to sitting position without any problem.||The infant is totally unable to turn over and rise to sitting position, unless supported.|
|Fine motor|| ||The infant transfers and manipulates objects with a lot of ease.||The infant does not seem to understand what is supposed to be done and puts everything in his/her hands in the mouth|
|Language|| ||The infant swiftly follows the commands given||There seems to be a problem, because the infant seems unable to understand commands|
|Cognitive|| ||The infant is attracted to sources of sound and also moves with the direction of light||The infant is uninterested with sources of light and sound and appear to take time before reacting.|
|Social||No task observed|
Chart 1: Report from Dr. Thadani’s demonstration
From Dr. Thadani’s demonstration, we can conclude that the age of the two infants is approximately twelve months. This conclusion is borne out of the type of tasks that the two infants have been able to accomplish. For instance, the two infants are able to sit on their own, make bubble sounds, grasp small boxes with their thumb and index fingers (Sigelman and Rider 133–170).
Sigelman, Carol K. and E. A. Rider. Life-Span Human Development, 7th ed. 2012, Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.