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Analyzing the Changes and Evidence of the New Developmental Milestones

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released updated developmental milestones for young children. This milestones list is included in the CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early" program, which helps parents recognize autism and other developmental delays in their children.

The changes are intended to clarify guidelines and enable families to identify developmental delays earlier. CDC and AAP modified several checklists that previously used 50th percentile, or average-age, milestones. The revisions were prompted by a concern that average-age milestones were a source of confusion and a "wait-and-see" approach among some concerned families and clinicians.

The new milestones define the behaviors that 75% or more of children are expected to demonstrate at various ages. It has been noted that some of these ages are older than in previous guidelines, which may mean that fewer children will receive early intervention.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is analyzing the revisions and their potential implications. READ ON!


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