Child Development:
Delayed Social and Emotional Development

Social and emotional child development varies with everyone. However, while there are averages, most experts recommend being more concerned with the age at which the vast majority of children (about 90%) have achieved a specific goal. If your toddler still has not achieved specific child development milestones by this time, then it may be a good idea to bring it up with her pediatrician. The earlier a problem is caught, the sooner a treatment can begin.

Significantly delayed development can sometimes signal more serious problems. For example, an autistic childis often diagnosed by their third birthday. Since autism is characterized by a person’s inability to effectively communicate with others and relate to those around him, a marked delay in early emotional development may be a sign of this disability.

If you recognize your toddler in the behavior described below, or you suspect there may be a problem, make an appointment with your pediatrician for a proper assessment.

Child Development Stages:

By 18 months, your toddler…
- Is not pointing out objects of interest
- His babbling consists of only one consonant sound
- Is not using gestures to communicate
- Is not smiling or laughing
- Is not responding when you call her name
- Everyday sounds are not met with recognition
- Is not communicating his needs in some way
- Is not imitating or attempting to imitate actions, words or songs
- Is not interested in interactive games
- Is not interested in playing with many different toys

By 24 months, your toddler…
- Is not engaging with others when playing
- Is not pointing out or naming images of familiar people or things
- Is not taking part in pretend play

By 30 months, your toddler…
- Will not listen to a story that has pictures
- Will not name a picture
- Is not following simple commands

By 36 months, your toddler…
- Is unable to pay attention to a specific activity for more than 10 minutes
- Is not interested in talking other than to fulfill personal needs
- Is unable to follow two or three step commands
- Is not indicating how he feels (i.e. I’m tired)
- Will not answer questions regarding recent events
- Will not take part in symbolic play

It can be hard to deal your special needs child all on your own. Chat with others and make the going less tough.