Children

Revised developmental milestones

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February 25, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the AAP have revised developmental milestones in the Learn the Signs. Act Early. program, which helps parents identify autism and developmental delays in their children. This is the first update to the guidelines since they were announced in 2005.

The updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made with the American Academy of Pediatrics, raised the percentage of children who typically meet certain milestones from 50 percent to 75 percent, an important adjustment signifying that instead of just half, now the majority of children are capable of certain behaviors and achievements at specified ages.

Changes to the guidance include:

  • Adding checklists for ages 15 and 30 months; now there is a checklist for every well-child visit from 2 months to 5 years.
  • Identifying additional social and emotional milestones (e.g., Smiles on their own to get your attention, age 4 months).
  • Removing vague language like “may” or “begins” when referring to certain milestones.
  • Removing duplicate milestones.
  • Providing new, open-ended questions to use in discussion with families (e.g., Is there anything that your child does or does not do that concerns you?).
  • Revising and expanding tips and activities for developmental promotion and early relational health.

To learn more about the updated guidelines, visit CDC.Gov.

For more information about the recent updates to CDC's developmental milestones, please view the Pediatrics journal article describing the updates.

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