Milestones Matter: Know Your Child's Milestones ~ #MilestoneMonday


This is Madison. Madison currently has the vocabulary of a 10 year old, however, it wasn't always that way. As a matter of fact she was enrolled in speech therapy when she was younger, and all because I saw the signs that she needed help.

This post is made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. All opinions are my own. 


I have four children, and no one knows my children better than I do. Not even their doctor!

Kristal and Kyle both started speaking before they were a year old, however with my son Mikael, we noticed that he was 18 months old and didn't have much of a vocabulary. He was withdrawn, wasn't good at pretend play, or even following simple commands.

I recognized that there was a delay and mentioned it to his pediatrician who said, "All kids develop differently, let's wait." Okay… except all kids aren't my kids!

There was something wrong with my child and I needed to know what, so I got a second opinion. What we found out after our second opinion was that our child was autistic. The signs were there, but we didn't really know what to look for since I didn't know much about milestones.

It was then that I really started paying attention, so when Madison was born and at a year was also struggling, we knew exactly what we had to do.


Having an autistic child really makes you start questioning your parenting. Why didn't I notice or pay attention before? Why did I wait so long before seeking help? With Madison, we knew that at age one, she should be trying to say words, whether that meant she was trying to imitate what she would hear us say, or make up her own words. Madison was doing neither.

While she was hitting her other milestones socially, emotionally and even physically, her language/communication skills were not up to par. She was nearly impossible to understand and seemed as though she had no interest in making an effort, so we decided to enroll her in speech therapy. First I spoke with her doctor. Since we had an already autistic child in our household, speech therapy was strongly recommended.


Fast-forward to today and as previously mentioned, Madison now has the vocabulary of a 10 year old, all because I recognized that she wasn't meeting her language milestone and acted upon it early. I learned the signs and knew what milestones she should have been hitting, and formulated a plan together with her pediatrician on how we could get her help. Below is Madison on her Instagram performing the song "The Grand Old Flag."

The CDC is an amazing resource of information for those who are worried about their children reaching their milestones. Are you a parent and have no idea what milestones your child should be hitting at what age? There's an app for that! The CDC has a new app, the Milestone Tracker, that you can download on either your iOS or Android device to check milestones on the go.

You can also order a FREE "Parent Kit" (available in both English or Spanish) which includes a Milestones Moments booklet with checklists for ages 2 months to 5 years and a growth chart.


While it's true that each child develops differently, the milestones checklist is a guide to what your child should be doing at a certain age. There are milestones for each developmental area such as, social/emotional, language/communication, cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving), and movement/physical development. If your child is not meeting a particular milestone, speak to your child's doctor, as it could be a sign of a possible developmental delay.  Getting help early means an easier journey for your whole family.


Remember milestones matter, learn the signs and act early!

Annmarie John
32 Comments

32 comments:

  1. I love this post. It's so important to pay close attention to our children's development on every level. It's very easy to forget to do that with all the hustle and bustle of modern life.

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    1. I think we tend to focus more on babies and not the older kids, but we really need to focus on both and not let "life" get in the way, because we're talking about their lives here.

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  2. I JUST had this talk with my brother last night about his son. He seems to be falling behind on his language and I suggested he take him to the pediatrician to be checked out because he may need early intervention.

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    1. You can never be too careful with things like this. I'm glad that we got Madison seen early as well, it made the world of difference.

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  3. It is so important to get the help you need when it comes to the well being of your children. I have been lucky with my kids but we never thought to question our doctors and good parents should.

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    1. I think we only questioned because I knew there was something definitely wrong. I mean, come on, no-one knows your child better than you do. You're with your child 24/7, so you can tell when something is wrong, and getting the help early can make a big difference in your child's life.

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  4. That is so great that you realized there was an issue, and took action! Your post is inspiring for those parents who may think there's an issue with their child, but are apprehensive to act upon it.

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  5. This is such an important post. As a healthcare provider, I love when parents share their stories like this and encourage each other to be aware and involved in their kids healthcare

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  6. thanks for the reminder! I don't have kids yet but it sure is important to keep mental notes and physical memories of milestones! I personally love keeping a memory box

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  7. So important to know the milestones and celebrate them! I know my son appreciates I over celebrate his... :)

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  8. In terms of milestones, I was actually just asking a friend of mine when we should start potty training. I should get this app so that I can take note of all the key milestone's for baby!

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  9. I'm so glad you were able to figure out what your child needed, despite what anyone else told you. We are our children's best advocates, as you've proven. Thanks for sharing the milestones checklist.
    Estelle

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  10. This is a great post! We know our kids more than anyone! It's really important that we are aware of their milestones.

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  11. I completely agree with you. Although all kids develop at their own pace, it doesn't mean we shouldn't have them checked. It's good to have a guide, especially the first time parents, that way they know when they need to seek for help or if it's all good.

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  12. Ok seriously I have been reading your blog for years why didnt I know Madison was autistic? OMG my brother is 30 and autistic. Dont worry you got so many milestone to celebrate she is going to surprise you!

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  13. That's really awesome. Especially if you have more than one kid. You notice things. Scarlet has the speech of a 40-year-old. Slight exaggeration but she's SO eloquent. Des is less so. I had him evaluated and they said he sounded good, but I still worry. His vocabulary has exploded since he started watching Doctor Who! Who knows??

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  14. Love this post. An awareness to every parent to be attentive to their children as they grow up. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. It's so great that you are so in tune with your children's needs and are spreading awareness that milestones are important indicators.

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  16. This is so true. I actually need to enroll my son in speech therapy. He has had some delays, and even though doctors say it is normal, I feel his speech could be better! Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me!

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  17. I think its really important to celebrate all of the little milestones especially as they get older because I feel as though schools just focus on the top performing kids xxx

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  18. My son had delayed speech and still isn't on a par with his peers but we have been working with him and his teachers and he is coming on brilliantly now

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  19. You are totally right you know your kids best, and you'll know straight away what feels right with them and what doesn't x

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  20. What a very inspiring post and so very true I am a mum of 6 children and I think its very important to arm yourself with as many resources as possible if you notice or feel something isnt quite as it should be

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  21. Kids all do things at such different ages. My daughter is 16 months and no really walking yet.

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  22. You are such a great parent! When I am a mommy someday I would love to use the Parent Kit! Such a great and important post!

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  23. i love your message. its so easy for people to dismiss certain behaviours "as part of growing up, or thats how people behave" i feel like you certainly can't beat yourself up about anything that was missed. what matters is what your doing about it now and going forward.
    you are doing amazing and are doing a fantastic job at that.

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  24. Angela Ricardo BetheaMarch 16, 2018 at 6:27 AM

    Great post. For me it is important that we know our children than others and to know and follow them in their milestones as they grow.

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  25. What a great idea for a post, i think we need to be picking up on the milestones no matter how old they get!

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  26. All children develop at different paces but it is important to keep checking then if there is anything, support can be sought x

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  27. I know my mum kept a diary and always monitored my milestones to see how I was progressing! It's important to do so for sure! :)

    - Kris

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  28. I don't have kids but I remember growing up my mom was always on top of us making sure we were doing good in school and in everything we did up until I graduated college after that my mom said ok my job is done now it's up to you what you do from here. She said I'll always be here if you need me. There are some methods I would use with my own kids (not getting into that) but I feel like it's not like back in the days anymore and I didnt see it then but I thank my mom because some kid don't have that attention now a days because parents are always on the go or work long hours. So thanks for sharing and you're right every child is different and have different personalities. I will be doing the same when the time comes I want my child to have their own personality but also know mommy is here to help him/her.

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  29. Milestones are super important. I kept track of the boys' milestones when they were younger. This is how I knew something wasn't right when the twins were not crossing certain milestones. It's definitely important to pay attention to them. Thanks for spreading the awareness!

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=https://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)