Irvine Therapy Services

Using sensory integration to help children succeed since 1980

Developmental Milestones Checklist

Age 5-12 Years

*Note: Please note that there is a range in which many of these milestones are achieved. Please do not be alarmed if your child does not meet the milestone at the exact month under which the skill is listed. However, if there is more than a 1-2 month delay, it is recommended that you contact our office to discuss the need for further assessment. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development, please contact our office at 949-252-9946 or support@irvinetherapyservices.com for a free consultation.

FINE MOTOR

Developing Skills

  • Hand dominance is firmly established; consistently uses dominant hand
  • Utilizes a functional pencil grasp (ex. tripod, quadrupod)
  • Draws a person with a least 6 different body parts
  • Coordinates hand and finger movements needed to participate in a variety of table top games and activities
  • Colors within the lines without excessive deviation; refines with age
  • Has skills to actively participate in craft and construction activities
  • Independently ties shoelaces by age 6
  • Demonstrates increased independence with self-care

Warning Signs

  • Uses too much or too little pressure when coloring/drawing
  • Accidentally breaks pencils, crayons or toys from pressing too hard
  • Frequently switches between hands during art activities or when eating
  • Poor or awkward grasp on utensils (ex. forks, spoons) or tools (ex. crayons, chalk, pencils, markers, scissors); may frequently reposition fingers
  • Arms, hands, or fingers fatigue quickly when coloring, writing, or drawing
  • Difficulty with dressing, manipulating fasteners, eating

GROSS MOTOR

Developing Skills

  • Easily performs basic motor skills with fluidity—hopping on 1 foot, galloping, skipping, etc.
  • Rides a bicycle independently
  • Independently pumps a swing
  • Jumps rope
  • Plays ball games with peers (ex. catch, handball, 4-square, etc.)
  • Safely navigates environments without falling or bumping into objects or people
  • Coordinates movement for playground and sports activities
  • Imitates body movements and hand motions while singing songs or playing Simon Says with relative ease

Warning Signs

  • Clumsy; falls or trips frequently
  • Has difficulty with body awareness or personal space
  • Seems overly active; unable to slow down
  • Avoids playground activities or sports
  • Walks on tiptoes
  • Has poor muscle tone; may seem weak or floppy
  • Has difficulty tolerating prone position (lying on stomach)
  • Has difficulty using the appropriate amount of force for using objects, playing with peers, or petting animals
  • Fatigues quickly; frequently leans on others or furniture for support
  • Difficulty executing novel motor activities/actions

ORAL MOTOR

Developing Skills

  • Eats an increasing variety of food
  • Is willing to try new foods of various textures, flavors, and temperatures
  • Takes appropriately-sized bites of food
  • Independently drinks from an open cup without spilling

Warning Signs

  • Picky eater
  • Overstuffs food in mouth
  • Mouths non-food items or objects
  • Drools
  • Has speech that is difficult to understand
  • Gags when eating

Auditory

Developing Skills

  • Consistently responds to verbal cues without repetition
  • Is able to follow 2-3 step commands
  • Follows directions/instructions in group settings
 

Developing Skills

  • Identifies shapes and familiar objects by touch
  • Enjoys playing with toys/objects with various textures (ex. smooth, bumpy, soft, hard, cotton, felt, rubber, etc.)
  • Enjoys playing in environments with various textures (ex. grass, sand, etc.)
  • Wears clothing with a variety of textures and materials

Tactile

Developing Skills

  • Identifies simple shapes (ex. ○, □, △, ◊, etc.) and familiar objects (ex. toy car, penny, crayon, etc.) by touch
  • Enjoys playing with toys/objects with various textures (ex. smooth, bumpy, soft, hard, cotton, felt, rubber, etc.)
  • Enjoys playing in environments with various textures (ex. grass, sand, etc.)
  • Wears clothing with a variety of textures and materials

Warning Signs

  • Under- or over-responsiveness to pain
  • Seems overly sensitive to touch; pulls away from touch
  • Dislikes self-care activities more than other children (ex. baths, haircuts, teeth brushing, nail trimming, etc.)
  • Shows discomfort getting messy
  • Appears sensitive to certain textures or fabrics; picky about fit of clothing, shoes
  • Seems unaware of being touched or bumped
  • Seems unaware of when he/she touches or bumps someone or something else
  • Constantly touches things; “learns” through fingers

Visual

Developing Skills

  • Easily sorts objects based on size, shape, or color
  • Assembles age-appropriate puzzles
  • Visually tracks a moving object (ex. ball)
  • Enjoys reading books
  • Able to maintain place when copying from the board or reading
  • Able to scan and locate objects in the room

Warning Signs

  • Easily distracted in busy or cluttered environments
  • Seems sensitive to light or prefers dark/dim lighting
  • Often tilts head or looks out of corner of eye
  • Has difficulty sustaining visual gaze or tracking moving objects
  • Reverses letter, numbers, or words
  • Has difficulty with spacing letter or words when writing or with visually organizing information on a page

Vestibular

Developing Skills

  • Maintains balance in everyday tasks and activities
  • Enjoys swinging, jumping, sliding and other playground activities
  • Has a good sense of rhythm and can clap to a beat
  • Uses the two sides of the body in a coordinated manner when performing bilateral tasks such as cutting with scissors, opening screw-on lids, skipping, swimming, etc.

Warning Signs

  • Dislikes car rides or becomes motion sick easily
  • Appears uncomfortable or fearful with swinging
  • Dislikes jumping or having feet off floor
  • Seeks twirling, spinning, rocking, or swinging more than other children
  • Gets dizzy easily or never gets dizzy
  • Poor endurance for standing or sitting; easily tires or needs to move/wiggle in order to sustain these positions
  • Poor posture; frequently leans on people or objects for support
  • Frequently trips, stumbles, or falls

Attention/Behavior

Developing Skills

  • Expresses self and makes needs known in an appropriate manner
  • Attends to and participates appropriately in school
  • Is able to play with one toy or theme for 15 minutes
  • Is able to pay attention during games and activities with friends and family

Warning Signs

  • Needs more verbal cuing to complete age-appropriate tasks than other children; poor work habits
  • Short attention span
  • Unable to attend in a busy environment (ex. classroom)
  • Aggressive or impulsive behavior
  • Seems to be in constant motion; unable to sit still

Social/Emotional

Developing Skills

  • Works and plays cooperatively with others
  • Exhibits good sportsmanship
  • Engages in imaginative and pretend play
  • Resolves conflicts with peers with some adult guidance (increased independence with age)
  • Self-calms when upset
  • Is able to cope with unexpected change
  • Is able to separate and be away from parents when with familiar persons (ex. babysitter/nanny, teacher, relatives)
  • Aware of safety precautions (ex. no talking to strangers, aware of risky/unsafe environments and behaviors)

Warning Signs

  • Has difficulty making and keeping friends
  • Has difficulty participating in group activities
  • Repetitive in play, plays the same things over and over, limited play skills
  • Strong need for routine, poor flexibility
  • Failure to explore
  • Difficulty with transitions—between toys/activities, between environments
  • Inability to settle down; sleep difficulties
  • Poor emotional regulation—easily upset or frustrated, large fluctuations in emotion, frequent outbursts/trantrums

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