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Common Developmental Delays

Listed below are some cognitive benchmarks to look for.

By six months:

  • uses hands and mouth to explore objects

  • finds a partially hidden object
By nine months:

  • plays two to three minutes with one toy (examining, rotating, touching, poking)

  • imitates a familiar gesture

  • finds a completely hidden object

  • deliberately touches an adult's hand or toy to start an activity
By twelve months:

  • retrieves an object to resume play

  • guides a toy with hands

  • throws objects to see what happens
By two years:

  • rotates an upside-down picture

  • uses tools to solve problems such as climbing on a chair to get a toy on a table

  • matches sounds to appropriate animal picture

  • engages in symbolic play (e.g., uses a stick to brush a doll's hair)
By three years:

  • talks to himself to expand on play theme or to an imaginary friend

  • understands the concept of two (e.g., can pick out two toys when directed)

  • discriminates between sizes (points to the Oreo instead of the M&M when asked which is larger)


From Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L and Nancy Peske. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here or on the book cover.

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