New milestone checklist and app helps parents track developmental delays in children

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The CDC reports that one in 36 children at the age of eight-years-old are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

In 2018, it was estimated that one in 44 children were diagnosed, and in 2000, only one in 150 children were identified with ASD.

Beverly Brockington, Assistant Director with DHEC’s Women, Infant, and Children Services, (or WIC) says early detection among any developmental delay your child may experience is key to finding helpful treatments.

“Well you know early detection, just kind of alerts to maybe potential concerns, or maybe there’s something else that needs to be further tested. Or maybe something could be identified,” Brockington says.

According to SC DHEC, a new Developmental Milestone Checklist available online and on the CDC’s Milestone Tracker app, can help parents identify what skills are typical for young children from two months old to five years old.

Brockington says while the checklist does not diagnose any developmental delay, it helps parents recognize when to act if they have any concerns — through a series of questions that change depending on the age of the child.

“Is your baby smiling? Do they look at you? Are they making an oo-ah sound? And depending on the age, do they know familiar people when they look at themselves in the mirror? Do they laugh when you laugh? Those are some of the typical questions for babies,” Brockington says.

She finds that the checklist also helps reassure parents, like herself, of certain behaviors.

“I used it with my child, he wasn’t crawling around right? And I said what’s going on, why are you not crawling? And I said, ‘Ok, I need to do some further follow-up.’ And what I found out was at the daycare, they were holding him all the time. So I said, ‘Ok, you’re going to have to put him down.’ And then next thing I know, he took off. So it helps identify any issues or concerns. And it may not be anything major, and it could be something as simple as a change needs to be done,” Brockington says.

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