I took a class on infancy for my minor and I learned how to use a fun little development test called the Denver II. I filed it away because I knew I’d want to refer to it when I had my own kids, and sure enough, a couple weeks ago I remembered it. It took a little searching, but I found it.
The Denver II measures development in four different areas: Personal/Social, Fine Motor/Adaptive, Language, and Gross Motor. Under each area are abilities appearing on a line graph that ranges in age from birth to 6 years old. Each ability has its own rectangle strategically placed on the age spectrum and looks a little like this:
The left side of the rectangle appears on the line graph at the age where 25% of babies can “pass” on the ability. The notch is the age where 50% of babies pass, the left side of the black part is 75% of babies, and the right side of the rectangle is 90% of babies.
I like that it recognizes that normal development isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some kids can do things earlier, some later, but it can still be normal. If a kid still doesn’t have a particular ability after the 90% age it may indicate developmental delays, but even then it isn’t necessarily a concern unless he/she is late on other abilities too.
Anyway, I’ve decided to do a monthly outline of what abilities are to be expected at each month and note whether Baby Ching is on track. The one month mark happened about three weeks ago, but I’ll do it anyway and try to remember.
One Month Old
-Regard face: looks at faces from 12” away. 90% pass. Ching passes.
-Smile responsively: smiles when talked to or smiled at (without touch). 60% pass. Ching passes.
-Smile spontaneously: smiles without being spoken to or touched. 60% pass. Ching passes.
-Regard own hand: stares at own hand for at least several seconds. 27% pass. Not yet for Ching.
-Follow to midline: watches dangling yarn from the side of their head to the halfway point. 80% pass. I’m not sure if he was doing this at 1 month.
-Follow past midline: watches dangling yarn from the side of their head past the halfway point. 50% pass. I don’t think so.
-Respond to bell: responds (with movement, eye movement, change in expression, change in breathing, etc.) to an unseen sound. 90% pass at 2 weeks. Ching passes.
-Vocalizes: makes small sounds (uh, eh, etc.). 90% pass at 3 weeks. Ching passes.
-Ooo, aaaah: makes vowel sounds. 40% pass. Ching passes.
-Equal movements: moves both arms and both legs equally. 90% pass at 2 weeks. Ching passes.
-Lift head: at least momentarily lifts head while on tummy so chin is off surface (without the head being turned to the side). 90% pass at 2 weeks. Ching passes.
-head up 45 degrees: head makes a 45 degree angle from the surface for a few seconds while on tummy (without head being turned to the side). 55% pass. Ching passes.
Things to practice for next check (which is next week):
- Regard hand: I’ll put things in his hands (he’s got a good grip) to try to encourage him to look at and be more aware of his hands. I’m not sure if this will work, but it won’t hurt.
- Follow to midline/past midline: I’ll start by trying to get him to follow my face in an arc over his head, then move to larger toys, then to yarn or string. In theory he’ll be more motivated to follow my face as opposed to string and he can get used to it. Once again, it may not work, but it’s worth a try.