Monitoring development milestones for those with autism is tricky. Some children with autism spectrum disorder can mask their condition. Sometimes, a client reaches a milestone but loses the ability to perform it in later evaluations. As parents, the key to helping their children with autism meet their developmental milestones is to reach out for support from experienced professionals. Often, parents don’t know where to turn for resources and information about whether their children are healthy and thriving. One of the most knowledgeable teams that parents of children with autism can rely on is our team at Camp Worth.
At Camp Worth in Texas, we keep parents in the loop regarding their children’s continuing progress. What are developmental milestones, and when does missing them indicate autism? If you’re the parent of a teen with autism that might be falling behind certain developmental milestones, we can help. To learn more about autism disorder spectrum treatment, contact our Camp Worth team online or call us at 855.915.2545 today.
What Are Developmental Milestones?
So, what are developmental milestones? For those with ASD, there are four groups of milestones that include social/emotional, cognitive, movement/physical, and language/communication. Each category lists specific achievements for children at various ages, starting at one month and continuing through adolescence. Not all children make the milestones at the average age. However, continually missing milestones is an early sign of autism.
Most autism diagnoses come by age three. What are developmental milestones for most three-year-olds? According to the CDC, most children at this age have achieved the following goals, divided by category.
Why Are Developmental Milestones Important?
Developmental milestones are important for all children, but they are crucial for children with autism. These milestones can be indicators that children need additional support or intervention. However, parents of children with autism should keep in mind that developmental milestones are not written in stone and are not the only way to recognize that children are falling behind.
Social and Emotional Milestones
By age three, a child that is not on the spectrum typically accomplishes the following skills:
- Mimics adults and friends
- Takes turns in games
- Understands “his,” “hers,” and “mine”
- Shows unprompted affection
- Has a range of emotions
- Shows concern for a crying child
- Dresses and undresses independently
- Separates easily from parents
Language and Communication Milestones
Communication is critical to children’s early development. What are development milestones for children at age three?
By this age, a non-ASD child usually masters skills such as:
- Remembers instructions with three steps
- Conversates using two to three sentences
- Understands prepositions like “on,” “in,” and “under”
- Uses plurals (cars, boys, toys)
- Can name a friend
- Uses pronouns such as “we,” “you,” and “me”
- Knows their first name, sex, and age
- Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
- Names many familiar things
These milestones include problem-solving, learning, and thinking.
A three-year-old normally reaches cognitive milestones, including:
- Manipulates toys with levers, buttons, and moving parts
- Makes-believe with people, dolls, and animals
- Puts together three- or four-piece puzzles
- Understands the concept of “two”
- Draws a circle
- Turns individual pages
- Builds block towers using six or more blocks
- Opens jar lids or turns doorknobs
Movement and Physical Development
What are development milestones for movement and physical development?
By age three, a child usually has skills such as:
- Climbs well
- Runs easily
- Walks up and down stairwells with one foot on each step
- Pedals a tricycle
Development Milestones and Autism
Missing a development milestone may not be a cause for concern. Children are unique and naturally develop at varying rates. Those born prematurely may miss a few milestones before catching up. Additionally, boys usually develop slower than girls before catching up.
Children may focus on certain milestones to the exclusion of others. Some children concentrate on physical or social development and may miss a few others, for example. If your child has medical challenges at a young age, it can temporarily impact milestones.
Those with vision, hearing, or speech impairments may also need more time to get back on track with same-age peers.
What Are Development Milestones that Indicate ASD?
Parents can monitor certain milestones that may indicate autism. While all children develop at their own pace, the following symptoms raise red flags for a possible ASD diagnosis:
- Unable to manipulate simple toys such as simple puzzles
- Doesn’t use sentences when speaking
- Can’t follow simple instructions
- Doesn’t pretend during play
- Doesn’t like to play with toys or other children
- Won’t make eye contact
- Loses previously mastered skills
Only a professional can diagnose autism. These signs are meant to guide parents wondering whether to get their kids tested.
Choose Camp Worth for Autism Treatment in Texas
At Camp Worth, we help clients between the ages of eleven and seventeen reach their developmental milestones. If you’re still wondering, “What are development milestones?” we can help. We treat each child independently and work with them to meet and retain life skills. Contact us online or at 855.915.2545 to learn more about our autism treatment programs in Texas.