Milestones matter! 1 in 6 children aged 3-17 have developmental disabilities—conditions that affect how children play, learn, speak, act, or move. Many children with developmental disabilities are not identified until after starting school. Early intervention (before school age) can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills as well as reduce the need for costly interventions over time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends both developmental monitoring (also called surveillance) and developmental screening for all children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program aims to improve early identification of children with autism and other developmental delays or disabilities so children and families can get the services and support they need as early as possible.
The program offers free checklists and other tools to make developmental monitoring practical and early.
Free materials for families and providers include:
- Developmental milestone checklists (for ages 2 months to 5 years), booklets, brochures, and growth charts
- Milestones Tracker mobile app (for iOS and Android) with interactive, illustrated checklists, tips for supporting development, shareable summary and more
- Children’s books that teach parents about milestones
- Milestones in Action: a collection of free photos and videos of developmental milestones
- Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns: A free 1-hour online training for early care and education providers to learn how to monitor each child’s development
- How to Help Your Child and How to Talk with the Doctor: Tip sheets to support parents when there is a developmental concern
- Promotional materials for any program or provider serving young children and their families.