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18-24 Month Developmental Milestones

Movement and Physical Development

Normal Development

  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Begins to run
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
  • Walks up and down stairs
  • Throws ball overhand
  • Makes or copies straight lines and circles (mastering circles is closer to 30 months)
  • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
  • Might use 1 hand more than the other

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May regress from previously mastered skills

Ways to Help

  • Make physical activity more fun by using balls and toys
  • Encourage your child to be more active by having a playmate on the floor
  • Allow your child to do things independently even if it takes longer. For example, let them feed themselves with a spoon
Allow your child to do things independently even if it takes longer.

Allow your child to do things independently even if it takes longer. For example, let them feed themselves with a spoon.

 

Language and Communication

Normal Development

  • Points to things or pictures when they are named
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Produces environmental sounds such as “vroom” and “beep”
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation
  • Points to things in a book

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May not talk as much as before diagnosis
  • Maybe be slow to respond due to stranger anxiety
  • Hearing problems may be possible in some cases.

Ways to Help

  • Talk to or sing to your child throughout the day
  • Read to your child. Children especially like rhyming books and repetition
  • Use a lot of different words, not just words they already know
  • Follow directions for proper hearing aid use if prescribed.
As part of normal development, your child may know the names of familiar people and things.

As part of normal development, your child may know the names of familiar people and things.

Social and Emotional

Normal Development

  • Copies others, especially adults and older children
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)
  • Plays beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May have more tantrums and say “no” more often
  • Separation from caregivers during medical procedures can be especially challenging
  • Few choices limit independence and control

Ways to Help

  • Provide choices when possible
  • Ask to be included in procedures with education on comfort positions
  • Encourage participation in group activities
  • Try to follow a loose schedule when possible
  • Use positive language to set an expectation
  • Talk about each person on the medical team and how they are there to help them
As part of normal social and emotional development, your child may copy others, especially adults and older children.

As part of normal social and emotional development, your child may copy others, especially adults and older children.

 

Thinking and Learning

Normal Development

  • Finds things even when hidden under 2 or 3 covers
  • Begins to sort shapes and colors
  • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
  • Plays simple make-believe games
  • Follows 2-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.” 
  • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog

Possible Challenges from Treatment

  • May have more difficulty understanding/following directions
  • Fewer opportunities to explore the environment

Ways to Help

  • Provide a variety of toys and ordinary objects to foster independence and cognitive development
  • Sing songs that help children learn parts of their bodies
  • Encourage your child to explore new sensory experiences
  • Your child learns by trying new things. Allow him or her to make mistakes
  • Encourage play activities that involve art, music, movement, books, and pretending
  • Limit screen time (TV and tablet)
Provide your child a variety of toys and ordinary objects to foster independence and cognitive development.

Provide your child a variety of toys and ordinary objects to foster independence and cognitive development.