Development Checkup

I am the mother of a very busy little boy. Jack is 13 months old and is walking very well. He is constantly on the move exploring every corner of the world around him. There is never a dull moment when he is around. Needless to say we have to keep a constant eye on him.

When Jack turned 1, we went to see his pediatrician for a well-child checkup. Does anyone else stress as much as I do over the developmental surveys that you have to fill out? You know … the ones that say Is your child pulling up on furniture? Can your child pick up finger foods using his pointer finger and thumb? (and many, many more specific questions). I agonize over each question … wanting to answer it honestly and sometimes nervous about what my answers might mean.

74_Baby-with-book.jpgI knew Jack would score very well on his motor development (as evidenced by his perpetual motion) … however, when I got to verbal development, I was a bit concerned. I couldn’t honestly say that he was saying specific words (knowing what they meant) or that he understood me when I gave simple commands. But I filled out the survey to the best of my ability and decided not to worry about it. When the pedicatrician, who is famous for being overly cautious, talked to us about the results he seemed fairly concerned … concerned enough that he wanted to test Jack’s hearing (a traumatic event for both of us). But Jack passed with flying colors (just like I knew he would), and the pediatrician decided we would wait and see how things progressed over the next three months.

Since then, we have made an even bigger effort to to read to Jack as often as he will let us (he generally doesn’t like to stop moving long enough to read a book) and to label all of the things in his world. Since the doctor visit, I can tell he has made progress … especially in comprehension. If you ask him where your nose is, he can tell you without hesitation. We’re still anxiously waiting on that first official word, but my mind has been set at ease for the moment.

For information about your child’s language development, be sure to check out the 1 to 2 Years Growth Spurt article "Communication Counts" in the August 2009 issue of ParentLife.

Have you ever been concerned about a certain aspect of your child’s development?


  1. I won’t say that I’m “concerned” about my daughter’s development, but I do think about it a lot. As an educator, I enjoy observing the developmental patterns of kids (I know, I’m wierd).
    All kids are different and learn at different rates. One thing the doctor told me that has helped me relax is that babies and toddlers will collect information and null it over before doing anything with it. Some develop sooner with motor skill, others with verbal.
    My daughter was using a few words (that only we could understand) at 12 months. She had several months where she had ear infection after ear infection. At 14 months she had tubes put in and that night (literally) she added about 10 words to her vocabulary.
    I think it’s important for parents to be aware of their child’s development. It’s easy to focus on the things a child is NOT doing yet, but also take a look at things they ARE doing – things that might be advanced and weren’t even noticed before.
    Just found this blog! Love the magazine and will visit here again!

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