Palmetto Parent September 2012 : Page 8

Oh, Baby! Watching for delays Austin Padgett reads to his sister Mallory. Reading to babies is important for proper development. Milestones give parents general guidelines for their children’s development k athryn Padgett knew something was amiss. Padgett is the mother of Austin, 10, and Mallory, 16 months and the community impact coordinator for Family Connection of South Carolina. When Mallory seemed to be delayed in reaching some typical mile-stones, Padgett sought help. “Just basing it on previous experience and the charts, I felt she wasn’t quite there,” she said. “I started talking to her pediatrician, but we didn’t want to jump to conclusions. At 1 year old, we decided it was time to do something.” Knowing typical developmental mile-stones for babies can help parents know if Story By Chris Worthy ] Photos by Sarah Hettich their children are on track. But because each child is diff erent, any concerns should be addressed with a child’s pediatrician. Deborah Greenhouse, a physician with Palmetto Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic, said assessing developmental milestones is part of well-baby checkups. “We really do have specifi c milestones we look for in a child’s development, but at the same time, each child develops at his own pace,” Greenhouse said. “It’s important to be aware of the milestones, but there’s no reason to be obsessive or compulsive or panicking if it’s not on the day.” Greenhouse said observing but not worrying too much about developmental milestones can be challenging for fi rst-time parents, but she said parents with multiple children may have diff erent concerns. “If they aren’t doing it exactly at the time the fi rst child did, that can concern parents,” she said. Sherry Larson, the parent of a child with special needs and a program coordinator with Family Connection of South Carolina, said she often hears from parents who are concerned about whether their child is on track developmentally. “Th ere are many families who are not sure about their child’s development,” she September 2012 8 Palmetto Parent

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