Our therapists are continuously researching and pursuing professional development courses to help guide child development recommendations for your family. Therefore, we wanted to take a moment to discuss the recently updated CDC Guidelines regarding important milestones for children ages birth to five.
CDC Project Goal and ASHA
The goal of this CDC project is something which we firmly support: Arming parents with information on development in an effort to prevent delays and challenges down the road, as well as to prevent medical care providers from implementing a “wait and see” approach. However, some of these updated guidelines conflict with the intent of early intervention, as well as current research. As you may have heard, the speech-language pathology community, including the American Association of Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), has some concerns about the inconsistencies and specific milestones as well, including:
- Speech-language pathologists were not represented in the group which created the lists of milestones
- Some of their numbers/ages don’t add up: The milestones they provide are not supported/cited in the research and literature.
ASHA has reached out to the CDC about this matter, but we wanted to get you some additional information while that’s being sorted. The first three years of life are critical for brain development, specifically for learning language, thus setting children up for success when it comes time for academic learning down the road.
SLP Milestone Guide vs CDC Guidelines
Below are the milestones which our field uses, indicating skills mastered by 50-75% of children between 12 and 30 months of age. We ask that you use this as a guide rather than a rule, as not all children develop the same way or according to the same patterns. We’ve also attached the previous CDC guidelines for Communication Milestones and an article regarding a more in-depth analysis of the current controversy surrounding this topic.
Embracing Neurodiversity & Milestones
When considering any developmental milestones at Chatterboxes, we choose to honor neurodiversity. Milestones are aligned with the development of non-neurodivergent (e.g., non-autistic) children. Neurodiversity is an approach to education which describes the concept that there is not one ‘right’ way of thinking, learning, communicating and behaving. Rather, we feel that all brains are beautiful. We help our families celebrate their child’s differences and support the whole child and family, rather than viewing such differences as deficits. Interested in learning more about this topic? Stay tuned for more information on Chatterboxes upcoming live Webinar on Neurodiversity for parents/caregivers!
SLP Milestone Guide
|Age in months||What the new CDC guidelines say:||What speech-language therapists and the research says:|
|30 months||Note: Language comprehension milestones not provided|
Zubler, J. M., Wiggins, L. D., Macias, M. M., Whitaker, T. M., Shaw, J. S., Squires, J. K., Pajek, J. A., Wolf, R. B., Slaughter, K. S., Broughton, A. S., Gerndt, K. L., Mlodoch, B. J., & Lipkin, P. H. (2022). Evidence-informed milestones for developmental surveillance tools. Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2021-052138 The Rossetti Infant-Toddler Scales, by Louis Michael Rossetti
The Informed SLP Article: There We No SLPs In the Room Where It Happened
We welcome your questions, feedback and thoughts on this topic. Should you like to discuss in more detail, please contact your clinician, or our Clinical Supervisor, Kelli Bavaro, M.S., CCC-SLP via email at Kelli@TeamChatterboxes.com