What is Child Development and Why It’s Important

Child development is the way in which a child grows physically, learns language, processes thoughts and handles emotions from the time they are born to the beginning of adulthood. Child development covers a full range of areas and skills that children learn and master during their life. These development areas include:

  • Cognition Abilities – the ability to learn and problem solve
  • Social Interaction and Emotional Skills – interacting with others and mastering self-control
  • Speech and Language – understanding and using language, reading and communicating
  • Physical Skills – fine-motor (finger) skills and gross-motor (whole body) skills
  • Sensory Awareness – understanding the information the senses gather

Why is child development important? As children grow and develop life skills, they progress from depending on their parents or caregivers to finding their own independence. While most child development is strongly influenced by a family’s genetic factors, events during prenatal life as well as the environment children live in also play a role in helping them grow. That is why checking developmental milestones is vital.

Developmental milestones – a basic list of skills and age ranges at which they should appear – act as useful guidelines for parents to know their children are learning the skills they need to be independent and self-sufficient. Checking a child’s developmental progress at different ages provides a way to make sure a child is roughly on track for his or her future. Developmental milestones are extremely important for the early detection of any concerns in how a child is growing and learning. The earlier a concern is seen, the better the chance in minimizing its impact on future development. Addressing concerns early is crucial and allows more meaningful plans to be put in place if a child is falling behind in development. This may also lessen the effects and frustration of any gaps which may occur between a child’s ability and those of his or her same-aged peers.

Many professionals such as doctors, teachers, therapists, and early intervention specialists are available to help and provide information about developmental issues and con- cerns. They are able to help parents and caregivers find ways to address any challenges related to childhood development. For more information about childhood development and milestones, along with services that may be available, call the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities Early Intervention Services at 330-725-7751, option 1.

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Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.