ASK THE TEACHER: About
Helena McDermott BA MA Special Education Teacher
My daughter has been walking on her toes since 15 months. I wasn't so
concerned, but now she is 24 months old and continues to walk this way.
My friend thinks she will grow out of this but now I am not so sure.
At each birthday a child needs to reach specific developmental milestones.
Although walking exclusively on the toes is not so much of a concern at
15 months of age, it does become something to talk to your doctor about
at 2 years of age. Do not panic, your doctor will most likely tell you
to consider an intervention such as physical therapy.
a list of Developmental Milestones by age click here
Q: My daughter is turning 3 in a few weeks but my husband
and I are worried that her speech is still so unclear. My father in-law
always says, "what's she saying, I can't understand her!" What can I do
to help my little girl?
At the age of 3, people other than you and your husband should be able
to understand what your daughter is saying. Again it isn't something to
lose sleep over but it is a good idea to take the following steps. First,
as in any case of fear of developmental delay, seek out your pediatrician.
Second, take the information from the doctor and seek out the appropriate
services from your school district. In this case your daughter will most
likely need a speech therapist. Considering you took steps now, your little
one will be speaking clearing as she enters kindergarten or even before.
Q: My daughter entered kindergarten in September and although
I could tell she was scared I thought she would open up after a while.
At the parent teacher conference the teacher told me she shows no interest
in playing with the other children. She started to mention some interventions
she tried to use but I ="5" was only interested in if she was performing
academically. Should I be concerned if my child is just shy?
Well, kindergarten is a time to develop socialization skills and by 5
years of age it is considered developmentally appropriate for a child
to want to please her friends and be like her friends. If your child is
showing little interest in playing with other children then you should
take it just as seriously as if they weren't able to count to ten. It
may be wise to reconvene with your child's teacher and ask what you can
do at home, what she has been doing at school and to ask if there are
other school staff that can support your daughter.
Q: My son is 4 and cannot
grasp a crayon and I feel like this is delaying him from drawing pictures
and writing his name. My husband thinks this is no big deal since he is
able to kick a ball with him in the backyard. Am I overreacting?
You are certainly not overreacting. At age 4, a child should be able to
copy square shapes, draw a person with two to four body parts, draw circles
and squares and begin to copy some capital letters. If your child goes
to preschool you may be able to request occupational therapy services.
Although many parents are familiar with the terms speech therapist and
physical therapist, an occupational therapist is someone who works with
children that are exhibiting difficulty with their fine motor skills.
You can also work at home with your child by modeling the grasp and working
hand over hand with him.
Q: My 11 month old doesn't search for objects that are
hidden while he watches, but my 9-month-old niece does. Is this something
to think about or am I just playing into sibling rivalry.
By a child's first birthday s/he should be able to find a hidden object
easily. If your baby does not search for hidden objects between 8 to 12
months and in your son's case 11 months, the best option would be to consult
your pediatrician. Infants, toddlers and all children develop at a different
rate but once it gets to be towards the end of the developmental stage
it is wise to consult your child's pediatrician.
Q: I am the mother of
three but my youngest has extreme difficulty separating from me. She turned
3 two and a half months ago and I don't know what to do. I can't even
leave her with my mother.
This behavior was acceptable at 2, even two and a half but now you need
to take steps to alleviate this behavior. By 3 years of age most children
separate easily from parents and attend nursery, preschool, or daycare.
Again speak to your pediatrician about what you can do to help your child
accept the presence of other adults in her life.
YOU HAVE A QUESTION YOU'D LIKE TO ASK HELENA?
questions and answers are given from an educational point of view and
are not to be taken as medical advice. Any time you have a concern about
your child's developmental health, you must first consult a pediatrician.