CDC Changes Child Development Milestones Guidelines

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Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 11:58 PM EST
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - The CDC recently changed the checklist for the child development milestones to make it easier on parents.

The CDC raised the percentage of children who typically meet certain milestones from 50% to 75%. Now, instead of half, they believe majority of children are capable of certain behaviors and achievements at specified ages.

The changes are designed to give parents, doctors and caregivers guidance for when children typically should be doing things.

Pediatricians will now go by these guidelines when residents take their children to the doctor.

The CDC hopes these changes will encourage parents to get help for development delays earlier instead of waiting until the delays become more obvious. That includes autism and speech development delays.

Becky Waldrop, Speech-Language Pathologist, said the earlier a child is identified with a developmental delay, the better.

“A positive change is that it does add extra checkpoints at 15 months and 30 months, which wasn’t previously there, so I think that extra checkpoints are helpful,” she said.

Some of the other changes that were adjusted were defined as social-emotional markers. This happens when a child typically hugs a doll or other toy, shows affection and uses words to say, “Look at me”.

Waldrop believes these changes can cause late identification of developmental delays in Children.

She said early identification is the key for speech pathologist to get ahead on delays.

“That’s the concern. Is that changing these milestones, kind of lessening the criteria a little bit at certain ages could result in late identification,” She said.

Waldrop added that Milestones Therapy in Tifton offers speech, language and swallowing therapy for children of all ages. She also said her team now offers adult speech therapy.

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