Does My Child Have Special Needs?

Does my child have special needs?

We have listed below common childhood milestones and when, on average, most children reach them.

If your child doesn’t match up to the timeline, don’t stress, this doesn’t necessarily mean your child has a medical condition, delay or special needs. Sometimes children don’t reach a milestone because they haven’t had the opportunity to. For example, a baby may not sit alone because he’s always being held, rather than having time on the floor.

Children who are born premature may not have the same rate of growth, muscle strength and development as their full their term peers, and that can cause a delay in motor skills that usually resolves with time.

When children are yet to meet speech or comprehension milestones, the likely cause may be due to hearing loss because of recurrent ear infections. A less common cause is autism, particularly if the child also has difficulty interacting socially. Children who are exposed to more than one language also tend to have speech delays, but usually catch up around age 2. Speech delays can also occur when children have limited opportunities to talk. For example, a parent or sibling may get the child a drink before the child has a chance to ask. We recommended seeking a speech and language review with a Speech Therapist and ask for a hearing review from your GP or Paediatrician who will refer you to a specialist if needed.

Although unmet or delayed milestones does not equate to having special needs or an diagnosable medical condition. We recommend that you seek a paediatric review as in some cases unmet milestones or delayed milestones may be associated with Genetic, Developmental, Intellectual or Behavioural conditions and having these diagnosed EARLY, opens the doors to many options to support your childs needs and potential.

Timeline of Childhood Milestones

2 Months Smiles at the sound of your voice
3 Months Raises head and chest when lying on stomach
Grasps objects
Smiles at other people
4 Months Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds
6 Months Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back
Moves objects from hand to hand
7 Months Responds to own name
Finds partially hidden objects
9 Months Sits without support
12 Months Walks with or without support
Says at least one word
Enjoys imitating people
18 Months Walks independently
Drinks from a cup
Says at least 15 words
2 Years Runs
Speaks in two-word sentences
Follows simple instructions
Begins make-believe play
3 Years Climbs well
Speaks in multiword sentences
Sorts objects by shape and colour
4 Years Gets along with people outside the family
Draws circles and squares
Rides a tricycle
5 Years Tells name and address
Jumps, hops, and skips
Gets dressed
Counts 10 or more objects

If your child has been diagnosed with a specific condition and you are wondering what to do now, please visit our What Next? page for more information.

You can also monitor your child’s development and milestones at