Friday, September 11, 2009

Jasper is 11 months

Jasper turned 11 months last weekend and I wanted to post on his developmental progress.

Checklists on developmental skills are important to those who regularly check on foster children. When each of our foster children have been placed in our homes, it never fails that I receive a phone call and visit to evaluate the child and his development. To the extent that we had a visit for a newborn ... as if the child could do anything. As such, we started keeping tabs early on with each child. I like that these lists give me some indication as to what the child should be able to do; and if there is an area where the child is not developing, I try to work on or encourage that development at home with some focused attention.

I found a developmental checklist online. And here are some of the things that babies can usually do at a specified age.

9 months: Says Mama and Dada; Responds to name; Can stand for a short time; Able to hit two objects together on their own; Copies sounds

10 months: Able to pull self up at the side of crib or playpen; Can drink from a cup when it is held

11 months: Can walk holding onto furniture; Can find an object placed under another object

12 months: Waves bye-bye; Can walk with one hand held; Says two words besides Ma-ma and Da-da; Enjoys some solid foods; Finger feeds self; Likes to have an audience

15 months: Walks by self, stops creeping; Shows desires by pointing and gesturing; Scribbles on paper after shown; Begins using a spoon; Cooperates with dressing

18 months: Can build a tower with 3 blocks; Likes to climb and take things apart; Can say 6 words; Tries to put on shoes; Drinks from cup held in both hands; Likes to help a parent

I included these months - because they span all of Jasper's most recent behaviors or lack thereof. So, he can do some of the things listed for a 18 month old child - but can't do some of the things listed for a 9 month old child.

He is very active and physical. His motor skills are well developed. By 11 months old he could walk on his own - well enough that he can walk outside in grass or wood chips at the park without falling too much. He can also squat and pick up a toy, stand back up, and not touch the ground. However, he can't stand up on his own yet - he instead needs something to pull up on.

Other motor skills - he can wave, hit two objects together, can drink by himself from a cup, likes to take the potty apart, can climb up steps and low furniture, can climb safely down steps on his own (for more than a month - very suprisingly), and he has been eating finger foods for months.

So while he excelling at motor skills, he is on par on verbal skills - and behind in the fact that he doesn't really say mama or dada. He can babble, he can say baba, and bye bye, but he doesn't really say mama or dada - very, very seldom. He does sign "all done" on a regular basis and loves that he can communicate in this way.

And he isn't pointing yet or scribbling - but according to this checklist it isn't time yet for these things.

I tried and tried over and over again to get him to scribble - he completely refuses and screams. He gets so mad at me because he wants to eat the crayons - its nice to see he really has 4 more months before he should be expected to do this.

At the moment, I know I need to work more with his verbal skills than anything else. So what does this mean exactly? This means that Thomas and I will be pointing and labeling everything for him, narrating everything we do, and generally explaining the environment around us.

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