There are 4 areas of development; Physical, social, intellectual and language development. The milestones in these areas increase, as the person gets older.
0-3 months - Babies are born with many reflexes such as swallowing and sucking reflexes, rooting reflexes, grasping reflexes, startle reflexes and walking and standing reflexes. Most babies are born with these reflexes, if a baby is born before the fortieth week, and are described as premature, then they might need a little more time to reach the same levels of development as a baby which has not been born until the fortieth week. Many of the reflexes babies are born with help the baby to survive. For example they have a rooting instinct to help them find milk from a nipple or teat if their mouth or cheek is touched, then a suckling and swallowing instinct in order for them to be able to feed. Babies have grasp reflexes, where they will put their fingers around an object if it touches the palm of their hand. Babies usually make stepping movements when they are held upright on a firm surface and if startled they will usually react by moving their arms outwards and clenching their fists. In their first month babies start to change very rapidly. They will be starting to look less curled up and they will appear to be startled less often. Their sleep will now be beginning to be in a pattern. They will sleep quite a lot of the time but the time in which they are awake will be increasing, as they get older.
3-6 months - Between 3-6 months the baby will be growing rapidly, their height will increase and they will increase gaining weight. Their sleep patterns will become more regular and some babies will have developed to understand the difference between night and day time, and will be choosing to sleep more at night time. The baby will have gained the ability to raise their head and turn it from side to side and will now be able to smile.
6-9 months – Between 6-9 months the baby will be gaining strength and will now be able to sit up if they are supported and will be able to roll over from their backs to their fronts. The baby will appear a lot more alert and will turn their heads to see what is happening around them. Babies will have developed the ability to grab toys and move it from one hand to the other. The baby will be learning about new objects by putting them in their mouths and the baby will be beginning to try to feed itself by grabbing at spoons when being fed. Between 6-9 months the baby will also start getting their first teeth.
9-12 months – Between 9-12 months the baby will be starting to move around a lot more. They will have developed the ability to sit up unsupported and will be finding ways to be mobile. The ability to crawl will be developed within the ages of 9-12 months. A baby will also be developing their fine motor skills, as they will now have a better physical ability to hold and explore toys. This is usually done by the baby putting the toys or objects in their mouths, the baby will also have better ability to touch objects and feel different textures.
1-2 years - The baby will have a much greater ability to crawl and will be very mobile between 1-2 years of age. They will have started standing up and holding onto furniture in order to balance themselves. Babies will then start to begin to cruise, by walking while holding onto pieces of furniture. By 18 months the child will have started walking and be called a toddler. The toddler will walk in a side-to-side movement and will start to move very quickly once they have learnt to balance efficiently. The toddler’s eyesight will be developed to the same as an adult, which will help them to explore a lot more. Their fine motor skills will have improved greatly and they will now enjoy touching and moving objects. A toddler will enjoy organising objects into shapes or colours and a strong feature of their play is the way in which they enjoy repeating an action over and over again – such as sorting shapes into a shape sorter box. A toddler will be able to sit up and feed itself using their fingers. Between 18-24 months a toddler will be able to play on outdoor equipment such as sit and ride toys and will be capable of pushing themselves off of the ground and propel themselves forward on their chosen toys.
2-4 years – Between 2-4 years a child will be a lot more confident in their movements. They will be able to run and climb independently and will try to copy tasks, which they see adults doing. The child will be able to pick up objects from the floor and play with them. They will become more confident doing more complex physical movements such as spinning around and will enjoy playing games such as ‘tag’ with adults and other children. Some 2 year olds will be beginning to start to be becoming independent in their toileting and will be starting to come out of nappies. By 3 years of age most children will be physically ready to finish using nappies. By 3 years of age the child will be confident playing on play equipment and will be able to walk up the stairs using their alternate feet, rather than one foot then the other on the same step.
4-7 years – From the ages of 4-7 the child’s physical development is improving much less rapidly. The main development is in their fine motor skills, which they will be learning, as they join pre-school, then school. They will develop the ability to pour liquids, do threading and will be able to use scissors. The child will be able to improve their drawing skills and will be starting to learn how to write in school. By 6-7 years the child will gain the ability to kick and control a ball, which is both stationary and moving, and their handwriting will have become a lot more legible.
7-12 years – A child’s physical development between these ages is a lot more gradual. The child will be a lot more confident in their movements and, most, will have good co-ordination. Their fine motor drawing and colouring skills will have improved greatly and should be legible. They will have improved in their arts abilities and be able to cut out shapes with scissors much more accurately. From the age of nine onwards the child will be starting to see signs of the onset of puberty. Girls will appear to notice the changes before boys. Between 10 to11 girls will begin to grow rapidly in height and their breasts will start to ‘bud’. Before the age of 11 some girls will also have started menstruating.
12- 16 years – Between 12-16 years the young people will be going through a lot of changes in their bodies, as they will have began going through puberty. Girls usually start going through puberty from ages 11 onwards. They will start to menstruate and their bodies will be beginning to change from that of a child to an adult. By the age of 16 girls will have usually have finished developing into an adult where as boys will start puberty at about the age of 14 and will take up to three years to develop from a boy to a man. Both male and female young people will be becoming sexually aware and may be becoming sexually active, although sexual intercourse is illegal below the age of 16 in the UK.
16-19 years – Between the ages of 16 to 19 years of age the young person will be well into the period of puberty. Many young people find it difficult to get used to their ‘new’ bodies and they may find their bodies awkward and find they may have poor special awareness issues due to their body growing so rapidly. Some young people will have made the choice to become sexually active and will have learnt how their bodies react in different ways.
Intellectual and Cognitive development
0-3 months- When a baby is first born their intellectual and cognitive development is linked to their reflexes. In the first three months the baby will have developed the ability to recognise the smell and the sound of their mother voice. They will recognise this from the contact they are having with their mother and they will react by appearing calmer and will begin to stop crying in their presence. Babies will also start to focus on their carer’s presence a lot more and will begin to recognise faces of their primary care givers.
3-6 months - Babies are starting to take more notice of toys that are mobile around them. They are beginning to take an interest in what is happening around them a lot more and will be appearing a lot more alert. By 6 months the baby will be starting to explore objects by putting them in their mouths and exploring them with their fingers. They will be beginning to want to feed themselves at meal times.
6-9 months – By eight or nine months the baby will be beginning to understand object permanence. They will be beginning to understand that objects or people who move out of their line of sight do not cease to exist, and that they will come back or re appear if they look for them.
1-2 years – By one to two years the toddler will have started to notice what other people around them are doing and will be beginning to recognise different routines to their day. They will understand objects of reference – for example: having a bib put on means it is time to eat a meal.
2-4 years – The toddler will have started to enjoy a range of more complex games such as jigsaw puzzles and sorting games. The child will be beginning to understand pretend play and will be beginning to play with animal toys as if they were real animals. By the time the child is 3 years of age they will have developed an interest in colouring and painting. By this age the child will be starting to understand about school and may be looking forward to starting pre-school.
4-7 years – By four years of age the child will be starting to gain the ability to concentrate on activities, which they are participating in and will be starting to enjoy playing games with other children. Most children will be in a pre-school, playgroup or nursery and this will help them to enjoy more activities and they will have a lot more influence on their cognitive development. By five or six the child will have started going to school. They will be starting to learn skills such as how to read and write which some will enjoy and pick up quickly and others will find more of a struggle. Some children will enjoy the intellectual challenge of formal education whereas other may not be ready to understand or want to learn from the school syllabus. By this age some children will be beginning to lean about some other activities which they could be taking part in such as swimming, listening to music and dancing. The child will be starting to do simple maths and will be leaning how to count and about simple calculations such as adding and subtracting.
7-12 years – By this age the child will be learning a lot in school. They will be able to cope with regular lessons in the classroom and their maths and English skills will be improving greatly. The child will have a grasp on reading by the age of nine and will be starting to learn how to read books silently and they will be starting to work through more complex maths questions. The child will be beginning to discover hobbies which they enjoy and tasks which they find easier than others such as finding reading and writing easier than doing maths problems. This will give the child more confidence in those fields and encourage them to ask for help from parents and teachers in things, which they find more difficult. The child will be beginning to understand logic problems between the ages of 9-11 and will be able to solve problems on their own without seeking out the help from an adult.
12-16 years – By the age of thirteen the child will be able to think about more abstract concepts and will be able to understand how to solve problems efficiently using their own initiative. There will be a lot more pressure on a child at this age as they will be moving up to upper schools and have the pressure of exams to work through. By 15 the young person will be starting to work towards their GCSE exams and therefore will have a much more complex level of understanding. The young person will have chosen what specific subjects to study in and will have a greater understanding of what interests them such as history or the media. The young person will have an understanding of how technological equipment works and what is expected in their levels of input into their work in school.
16-19 years – By 16 years old most young people will have completed their GCSE exams and be thinking about whether they want to go to college, stay on in sixth form or leave school to get a job. From 2009, children entering secondary school are required to stay in education until they are 18 years of age. The young person will have the understanding of an adult by this age and they will therefore have the pressure of having to adapt the way they act to the expectations of others around them. The young person will have an understanding of how most technology works and will be able to use the technology affectively.
0-3 months – When a baby is less than three months of age the way they communicate whether they are hungry, tired or distressed is by crying. From the age of five or six week the baby will begin to “coo” when they are content. The will be learning about their parents or carers and may stop crying when they hear their soothing voices.
3-6 months – By three months the baby will have developed the ability to smile. They may use this to show they are happy, may smile back at a smiling face, or when they recognise the sound or face of their parents or carers.
6-9 months – The baby will communicate that they are enjoying an activity or game by smiling and squealing with delight. They are starting to understand what is being said to them and they try to communicate – for example: holding their hands up in the air if they want to be picked up.
9-12 months – Between 6 and 9 months the baby will be becoming a lot more vocal. Their babbling will be beginning to appear more tuneful and the sound they make will be beginning to be longer and more put together. They baby will also be beginning to recognise key words, which are repeated to them often such as “dinner.”
1-2 years – The baby’s communication will be improving greatly from one years of age. They will still babble a lot but they will be starting to utter one word at a time as part of long stings of babbling. Parents usually notice the child’s first words at around 13 months of age. The baby will use different ways to communicate their wants such as pointing at objects, which they want. By 18 months the toddler will be able to understand most words, which are being said to them by their parents or carers. Their communication will increase so they will be babbling less and using more recognisable words.
2-4 years – By 2 years of age the toddler will have a vocabulary of around 200 words their parents or carers will notice more talking and less babbling as the toddler will be picking up more words every day. By two and a half the toddler will be starting to use more than one word together to express their ideas and wants, some may be able to even start using simple sentences. The toddler will have started to have temper tantrums and emotional outbursts to communicate how they are feeling if they cannot communicate verbally what they want. By the age of 3 the toddler will be able to communicate a lot more effectively and this will help them to communicate much better with their parents and carers and also children their own age.
4-7 years – By four years of age the child should be fluent in their language and many adults who don’t know then should now be able to understand what they are trying to say. There might still be grammatical mistakes in their speech but as they are now at an age to start pre-school then their language will be improving as they meet more adults and children of their own age and will therefore be using communication a lot more. The child will have started asking a lot of questions by four years of age and will appear to enjoy talking to people around them. By five years of age the child will have started to enjoy communication with children their own age they will be beginning to start to understand and re-tell jokes. By seven years of age the child will have a solid grasp on communication and will be beginning to learn much more adult and complex words, not usually used in communication, and their meaning. They will be starting to use words in verbal arguments and will be continuing to enjoy the freedom of enjoying to speak with parents and children around them.
7-12 years – By this age children will be starting to understand how to use communication to persuade and negotiate. This needs a much more complex understanding of the language and an understanding of how the person, or people, are going to react to what they are saying. The children will also be starting to argue verbally, which requires them to have a much higher understanding of the language and a much greater vocabulary. By the age of eleven the child will also have grasped the ability communicate things from their imagination through either telling someone a story or writing one down. The child is able to use logic in the way they think and communicate also. At this age the child may also be starting to learn about other languages and starting to learn them in school, such as French class.
12-16 years – Between these ages the young person will be starting upper schools. This means they will be required to communicate their wishes effectively so they can choose which subjects they wish to study towards in their GCSE exams. The young people will use a lot more complex language to communicate with the people around them and may use languages such as slang with their peers. They will have mastered the art of reading and writing, to be able to persuade people to think how they are thinking and to negotiate and put forth a worthwhile argument what they want and their beliefs. By the age of thirteen most young people will be able to use a mobile phone and will be communicating using the Internet with their peers.
16-19 years – By sixteen the young person will be using many different ways to communicate with their peers and other adults. They will have developed the ability to use the Internet and computer systems such as MSN Messenger and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with others. Most young people this age will have access to mobile phones and will use them to communicate also. The young people will have the ability to use language to the same ability as an adult by this age and most will have the ability to access different languages such as French, Spanish or German via school lessons or collage.