Is My Child's Development on Track?

Skills such as smiling at a familiar face, babbling, and throwing a ball show that your child is developing on track. Although kids develop skills at different times, there are some expected age ranges for reaching these goals.

Our guide for parents, “Watch and Help Me Grow,” provides a timeline of when children generally learn new skills (crawling, talking, grabbing, etc.). It has more information about what “developmental milestones” are.

There are also several other web resources where you can track your child’s development, including:

PBS Parents – Child Development Tracker

Centers for Disease Control – Parent Milestones Page

The Importance of Developmental Screening

Ask your child’s medical provider, preschool or child care provider about developmental screenings for your child. The Collaboration works with local professionals to promote and support developmental screening. Our Events page has dates and locations of screenings for Oak Park and River Forest residents, and an extensive listing of developmental service providers can be found in our “Developmental Referral and Services  Directory.

A “developmental screening” is a brief check that provides a complete picture of a child’s communication, motor, cognitive, self-help and social-emotional skills. A developmental screening can be completed by a doctor, a child care provider or other trained professional. A screening can determine whether your child’s development is appropriate for his or her age. If your child’s development is on track, a developmental screening can help you to identify your child’s areas of strength. Your child’s doctor or child care provider can help you find ways to continue to support your child’s development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors informally monitor children’s development at each well-child visit, and conduct formal screenings at the 9-, 18-, and 24- or 30-month visits.

If the developmental screening indicates a possible delay, it is very important to have your child formally assessed through the Illinois Early Intervention system (ages birth to three), local school district (ages three to five) or medical providers (any age) as quickly as possible.

Research shows that children get along better in school and with other children the earlier they get help with a delay.


See Early Intervention for Special Needs for additional information and contact details.