Child Development and Milestones

The first three years of a child’s life are an amazing time of development…and what happens during those years stays with a child for a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to watch for signs of delays in development and to get help if you suspect problems.

Recognizing early warning signs for childhood problems can improve your child’s chances for a joyful and independent future. As your child develops, you can expect to see his or her skills developing each month. Your doctor often refers to these skills as “developmental milestones.”

Most parents get excited about major milestones such as when their child walks or says their first word.

Recognizing Early Warning Signs: Common Motor Milestones

Click here to recognize when common motor milestones should be reached.

What is child development?

Child development refers to how a child becomes able to do more complex things as they get older. Development is different than growth. Growth only refers to the child getting bigger in size.

If you are concerned about your child’s development, please see Developmental Delay on your child.

Special Education Abbreviations

List of Abbreviations (Rev. 4-22-16)

Resources for you provided by The Arc US

The below topics are provided by The Arc US and are brief, two-page fact sheets for family members, advocates, professionals, media, researchers, policymakers and others that provide an overview of a specific topic related to intellectual disabilities. A wide variety of topics are covered, from the causes of intellectual disabilities to various types of syndromes to criminal justice/victimization issues.

The Basics about The Arc and Intellectual Disabilities


Specific Disabilities/Syndromes

Victim/Offender Issues

Life in the Community