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Child Behavior and Development: Normal Milestones

Walking and running. The fifteen-month-old; walks pretty well and by 18 months is starting to run. If you want to have fun with an 18-month-old, you start running and they start to follow you and take a quick right turn or left turn and they fall on the floor. They walk, pushing, pulling toys. Twenty-four months they run well, four-years-of-age they are up on tiptoes and they can tandem walk forward, they can tandem walk backwards by five years and they are skipping and alternating feet when they skip, by about five-years-of-age. Walking backwards, anybody know when kids walk backwards? Itís about 15 months.

Sitting; most 18-month-olds can sit in a small chair without falling over. If you give a 15-month-old a ball and asking him to throw it to you, the ball goes forward and the child goes backward and falls on his rear end. By about 18-20 months they can throw the ball without falling over.

Towers of blocks. A 15-month-old should be able to put one block on top of another. An 18-month-old gets up to three or four cubes. By 24 months, about six or seven cubes, and if you are going all the way up to 30 months, up to about eight. Iíll show you pictures.

Okay, pencil and paper. You give a 12 or 15-month-old a crayon and they eat it. They donít get it anywhere close to the paper. An 18-month-old will scribble with it a little bit before he starts to eat it. Then a 24-month-old, if you kind of make a vertical stroke, they can kind of make a vertical stroke. And if you kind of make a circle, they will kind of curve.

Okay, what about dressing? Eighteen-month-olds can start to take things off. They are just starting to work on it a little bit. Twenty-four-month-old can usually try to put clothes on and itís really a battle because they want to do it and they really canít do it, so you are sitting there fighting with them for awhile. Half the time 18-24-month-olds actually just like to run around naked anyway.

Eating; we start to let the kids have utensils somewhere about a year of age. Typical 15-month-old range, just think about how children will use spoons. A 12-month-old will take a spoon and just play with it. He will use it primarily as a catapult, and try to dump the food all over the place. If you give it to a 15-month-old they donít know that as you bring it up to the face you have to keep it level. So when you give a 15-month-old a spoon he digs in and he goes like this and it all ends up in his lap. Once you get to about 18-months-of-age, if you give him applesauce, he can keep it.

Language. In language there is always expressive language and receptive language. Itís important to know guidelines at both ages. Most kids have their first word, like a specific mama, dada, somewhere around 9-10 months. Often by a year of age there is at least one other word - usually on average 2-3 words - beside mama or dada and itís often baba for bottle or something along that line. And by a year of age they do whatís called "immature jargoning" which means that they

Words per sentence; real nice rule-of-thumb, at two-years-of-age you have to have two words per sentence - itís often like, "Go car", "Buy bananas" things like that. By three years of age, 3-4 words, by four years of age 4-6 words. So, two years 2, three years 3, four years 4. Okay? In terms of number of words, once you get above 20 parents canít count that well, but as a rough

What about receptive language? A 15-month-old can follow a one-step command without a gesture. If you have a one-year-old and you say "Come here" or "Give this to daddy" and you use a gesture they can often follow along and do okay. By 15-months-of-age if they are in the mood they can do it without you using hand gestures. They can find one body part if you have been

Okay, this is a nice rule-of-thumb; how much of the speech is intelligible to strangers? It doesnít mean that you understand everything that they say but you understand at least part of it. Itís the age in years divided by four. So when a three-year-old talks to a stranger, that stranger should understand about three-quarters of that speech, or about 75%. By four-years-of-age a stranger