Development Timeline (Birth to 19 Years)
TDA 2.1 (1.1) DEVELOPMENTAL TIMELINE – FROM BIRTH TO NINETEEN YEARS The time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than average but still be within the normal range.
BIRTH TO 5 YEARS | Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor)| Birth – 1 month| Generalised tension. Helpless. Asocial (not social). Fed by mother. | | Feedings: 5 – 8 per day. Sleep: 20 hours per day.
Sensory Capacities: makes basic distinctions in vision, hearing, smelling and tasting, touch temperature and perception of pain. | 2 months – 3 months| Distress. Smiles at a face. Visually fixates at a faceand smiles at it. Maybe soothed by rocking. Enjoys being cuddled. Expresses delight. | Oral Exploration: cries, coos, grunts. | Sensory Capacities: colour perception; visual exploration. Motor Ability: control of eye muscles; lifts head when on stomach. | BIRTH TO 5 YEARS | Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). 4 months – 6 months| Enjoys being cuddled. Recognises his mother. Distinguishes between familiar persons and strangers. No longer smiles indiscriminately. Expects feeding, dressing and bathing. | Oral Exploration: babbling; makes most vowels and about half of the consonants,| Sensory Capacities: localises sounds. Motor Ability: control of head and arm movements; purposive grasping, rolls over. | 7 months – 9 months| Specific emotional attachment to mother. Protests separation from mother. Enjoys “peek-a-boo” games. | Motor Ability: control of trunk and hands; sits without support; crawls about. | 10 months – 12 months| Responsive to own name. Waves “bye-bye”. Plays “pat-a cake”. Understands “no! “Gives and takes objects. Affection. Anger. Fear of strangersCuriosity & Exploration. | Language: says one or two words; imitates sounds; responds to simple commands. | Feedings: 3 meals per day, 2 snacks. Sleep: 12 hours per day with2 naps. Motor Ability: control of legs and feet; stands; creeps; apposition of thumb and fore-finger. | BIRTH TO 5 YEARS Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | 1 year – 11/2 years| Dependent behaviour. Very upset when separated from mother. Fear of the bath. Obeys limited commands. Interested in his mirror image. | Language: repeats a few words. | Motor Ability: creeps up stairs; walks (10 – 20 minutes); makes lines on paper with crayon; feeds himself. | 11/2 years – 2 years| Temper tantrums (1 – 3 years). Resentment of a new baby. Does the opposite of what he is told (18 months). Language: vocabulary of more than 200 words. | Motor Ability: runs; kicks a ball; builds a 6-cube tower (2 years); capable of bowel & bladder control. Sleep: 12 hours at night with1 – 2 hour naps| 2 years – 3 years| Fear of separation. Negativistic (2 1/2 years). Violent tempers. Different facial expressions – anger, sorrow and joy. Sense of humour; plays tricks. Copies parents actions. Dependent, clinging. Possessive about toys. (continued overleaf)| Language: talks, uses “I”, “me” and “you”; says words, phrases and simple sentences; vocabulary of 272 words. Inability to make decisions. Motor Ability: jumps off a step; rides a tricycle; uses crayons; builds a 9-cube tower; seats self on a chair; uses a spoon and fork; becoming independent in toileting; turns pages singly. | BIRTH TO 5 YEARS | Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | 2 years – 3 years(continued)| Enjoys play alongside another child. Resists parental demands. Gives orders. Rigid insistence on sameness of routine. Self-centred – beginning of personal identity. Possessive. Often negative; frustrated.
More responsive to humour and distraction. Solitary play. Dependent on adult guidance. Plays with dolls. Little concept of others as “people”. Socially very immature. May respond to simple direction. Enjoys music. | . | | BIRTH TO 5 YEARS | Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | 3 years – 4 years| Knows if he is a boy or a girl. Enjoys brief group activities requiring no skill. Like to “help” in small ways. Self-sufficient in many routines of home life. Affectionate towards parents.
Pleasure in genital manipulation. Cooperative play with other children. Attends nursery school. Imitates parents. Romantic attachment to parent of opposite sex (3 – 5 years). Jealousy of same-sex parent. Imaginary fears of dark, injury, etc. (3 – 5 years). Takes turns and likes to share. Beginning of identification with same-sex parents. Practises same-sex role activities. Intense curiosity and interest in other children’s bodies. Imaginary friend. | Uses “we”. Has a vocabulary of 896 words. Growth in communication. Tells simple stories. Uses words as tools of thought.
Has a desire to understand to his environment. Can answers questions. May recite a few nursery rhymes. .| Motor Ability: stands on one leg; jumps up and down; draws a circle and a cross (4 years); draws “Man”; cuts with scissors (not well); can wash and dry face; throws ball overhand. | BIRTH TO 5 YEARS | Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | 4 years – 5 years| Highly Cooperative play. Highly social – has special friends. Highly organised (5 years). May play loosely organised games (e. g. ag; hop scotch). Enjoys simple table games requiring turns and observing rules. Talkative. Versatile. Responsibility and guilt. Feels pride. Prefers to play with other children. Becomes competitive. Prefers sex-appropriate activities. Highly imaginative. Dramatic. Self-assured. Stable and well-adjusted. Home centred – likes to associate with mother. Capable of some self-criticism. Enjoys responsibility. Like to follow rules. Interest in environment, town, city, shops, etc. | Talks clearly. Uses adult speech soundsHas mastered basic grammar. Asks endless questions. Learning to generalise.
Tells long tales. Reads own name. Counts to 10. Asks meaning of words. Knows colours. Beginning to know the difference between fact and fiction. Has the ability to tell lies. Knows over 2000 words (5 years). | Motor Ability: hops and skips; mature motor control, skips; good balance; smoother muscle action; skates; rides a bicycle (with stabilisers); broad jumps, dresses without help, copies a square and a triangle; can draw recognisable simple objects; handedness established; ties shoes, girls’ small muscle development about 1 year ahead of boys. | 6 YEARS TO 10 YEARS
Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | Starts spending more time in school and with peers than with family. Has friends that are primarily the same sex. Accepts responsibility for their actions. Express concerns for the welfare of others. Personality and humour develops. Can “decentre” (realizes others have ideas and feelings that are not the same as theirs). Attention levels increase; can inhibit impulsive behaviour. Has greater emotional control. Play becomes sophisticated and increasingly symbolic.
Playing a gang or group (organised sports and games). Spends more time and concentration on individual interests (books, music, computer games, constructing models. Tastes and skills are almost defined (pre-teen). Demonstrates “relativism” (they can be wrong and that theirs, and others, thoughts and feelings do not affect reality). Strongly influenced by friends. | Evidence of logical and organised thought. Demonstrates deductive reasoning. Understands the concepts of “right” and “wrong”. Speed and efficiency of thought increases. Can relate involved accounts of events. Complex and compound sentences easily used.
Only a few lapses in grammatical constrictions (tense, pronouns, plurals). All speech sounds are established. Reading and writing with considerable ease. Plays challenging games and puzzles that test knowledge and physicality. Can classify one object in more than one way. Can carry on a conversation at an adult level. Learns to join their letters and can decipher other joined-up writing. Doodles and sketches becoming more naturalistic. Can follow (fairly) complex instructions with little repetition. Starts to question unknown concepts (eg. death, birth, etc. ). Able to set and achieve goals.
Reads for pleasure (8+ years). Can tell the time (7+ years). | Motor Ability: movement is smoothand coordinated; can ride a bicycle without stabilisers; plays challenging games to test physicalityContinues to grow steadily in weight and height. Body proportions starting to look less childlike and more like those of an adult. Exhibits high levels of energy. Puberty may begin (as young as 9). Periods may begin (as young as 8). Sleep: 10 hours per day. | 10 YEARS TO 14 YEARS Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). 13 YearsMay act in destructive ways – slamming doors; stamping feet. May become overly sensitive and easily offended. May begin dabbling in serious behaviour – self harm; smoking cigarettes; drinking alcohol; taking drugs; having sex). Peer pressure has the most influence. Interested in “fitting in” and “being the same” as their peers. Relationships can become complex and intense – not speaking to others; enjoy fighting/making up. May have large shifts in social circles – may withdraw and avoid their peers or choose to stick with their friends, no matter what.
Prefers to be social than tend to school-work or other responsibilities. Silliness can rule – can have a twisted sense of humour. May push away from their parents to spend more time with friends. Cliques and tight-knit groups can form. Between 12 and 14 years, both sexes become very aware of their sexuality and that of others. Nervous of developing too fast or too slowly. | A handwriting style develops. More abstract thought, incorporates principles of formal logic. Thinking becomes less tied to concrete reality. Formal logical systems can be acquired. Can handle proportions, algebraic manipulation.
Evidence of organised, logical thought. Capable of concrete problem solving. Growing ability to see the consequences of their actions. More able to think like adults, but not the judgement and experience. Arguing skills improve (passionate). Reasoning skills improve – applies concepts to specific examples. Can construct hypothetical solutions to problems and evaluate. Focus on the future develops. Recognises cause and effect (present/future events). Sets personal goals. Decision-making skills improve. Learns to distinguish fact from opinion. Can evaluate credibility of various sources of information.
May challenge adults’ assumptions and solutions. | Girls:Onset of puberty (11 years). Menstruation begins (121/2 years – but sometimes earlier). Breasts begin to grow and develop (breast buds). Boys:Growth spurts, clumsiness and lack or coordination. Hormonal mood swings in boys and girls – moody, depressed, surly and rebellious; acutely interested in the opposite sex. Adult teeth in place (by 13 years). Special gifts and talents emerge (sports, artistic, mental, etc. ). 13 Years Girls:Growth in height continues, but a slower pace (adult height reached by 16 or 17 years).
Breast development continues. Growth of pubic and under-arm hair. Body shape changes (hips, fat deposits – buttocks, legs, stomach). Periods become regular. Pregnancy becomes possible. | 10 YEARS TO 14 YEARS Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | 13 Years (continued)Evidence of “teen rebellion”. Early “risk taking” behaviour could increase in difficulty and occur with other risky behaviours. Eager to assert their independence. Negative and positive peer pressure – friends; classmates.
Three possible major health problems include eating disorders; depression; substance abuse. | | 13 Years (continued)Boys:Rapid growth in height and weight. Muscles fill out – strength increases. Pubic and under arm hair appears and thickensBody hair increases. Voice deepens. Penis, scrotum and testes enlarge. Ejaculation and nocturnal emissions occur. Boys and Girls:Always hungry. Sleep patterns alter dramatically. Oily skin and acne may occur). Sweating increases. Rapid growth causes clumsiness and lack of coordination. Sexual desires and fantasies increase. | 14 YEARS TO 19 YEARS
Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). | 14 YearsUncertain, unhappy and sensitive. Withdrawn – spends time alone; needs privacy. Can be neurotic (convinced that everyone is watching and judging). Low self-esteem – very concerned with body image and appearance (physical ; sexual). May refuse to sociable with adults. Self-involved (may have high expectations and low self-concept). 15 YearsGenerally easy going; happy. Recognises own strengths and weaknesses. Is critical of others, specially parents. Likes to be busy with extracurricular activities. Large and varied social circle; friends of both sexes. Anxious to be liked and accepted. Strong interest in opposite sex. Can be quarrelsome and won’t communicate. Desires independence from familyRelationships with siblings better than with parents. May have one or two “best friends”. Dating and romantic relationships may be commonplace. | | | 14 YEARS TO 19 YEARS Social, Emotional andBehavioural Development| Communication andIntellectual Development| Physical Development(gross and fine motor). 16+ YearsRelationship with family becomes easier; more caring. Self-assured with sense of self. Views parents as people, not the “bosses”. Friendships are very important – both sexes; shared interests. Intense romantic relationships. May have anxiety over school and test scores. Interest in school increases or decreases. Seeks privacy and time alone. May complain that parents prevent independence. Starts to integrate both physical and emotional intimacy into relationships. Is increasingly aware of social behaviours of friends. Seeks friends that share similar beliefs; values; interests.
Friends become more important. Starts to have more intellectual interests. Egocentrism develops in some teenager. | 16+ YearsBecomes better able to set goals and think in terms of the future. Has a better understanding of complex interrelationships of problems and issues. Starts to develop moral ideals and to select role models. Cognitive maturity develops:Componential intelligence – ability to use internal information-processing strategies in problem solving,Metacognition – awareness of one’s cognitive processes (vital in problem solving).
Experiential intelligence – able to transfer learning effectively to new skills. Contextual intelligence – ability to apply intelligence in a practical context. Tacit knowledge –savvy or “street wise” (to work the system to one’s advantage). | 16+ YearsGirls:Most have completed the physical changes related to puberty by 15 years. Boys:Still maturingGaining strength and muscle mass; height. Completing development of sexual traits. The brain is fully developed by 19+ years. |