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Should my child be walking?



HV Parent Favorite Doc discusses early childhood milestones

"Early learning is not  understanding everything; It’s about children being exposed to the world  around them." Anthony D’Ambrosio, MD Health Quest Medical PracticeFrom the moment your child enters the world, you will probably have questions and concerns about your child's development and about how this development relates to her peers. Luckily, the doctors at Health Quest Medical Practice are always willing to answer your questions! Dr. Anthony D'Ambrosio, a board-certified family practitioner at Health Quest Medical Practice in Fishkill, has a two year old son. Now, as his son grows, he knows firsthand the issues parents face.

Childhood milestones
  
"By six months, your child should be able to recognize familiar faces, respond to her name, make sounds, roll over, sit up and crawl backwards, as well as forwards," says Dr. D'Ambrosio. At Health Quest Medical Practice, parents are instructed on when to introduce water and food into their child's diet. Parents who agree to vaccinate their child receive an immunization schedule, which explains the series of vaccinations including the timing of all doses.

"By twelve months, your child should be able to feed herself using her fingers, point to things she wants, pull herself up, stand and take a few steps," says Dr. D'Ambrosio.
At each well check-up, your child is weighed, and her height and head circumference is measured as well. The results are plotted on a growth curve.

Review of your child’s progress
Depending on your child's immunization schedule, she should be finished with the majority of shots at her18 month well check-up. How- ever, if you've elected to stagger the vaccinations or if the shots were staggered due to illness, your child could receive her remaining vaccinations at this time. "By 18 months, your child should be able to say at least 10 to 20 words, walk up stairs with help and change her clothes without help," explains the doctor.

"Early learning is not understanding everything; It’s about children being exposed to the world around them." Anthony D’Ambrosio, MD.  Health Quest Medical Practice

How important is the growth curve?
The growth curve measures your child's height, weight and skull size. According to Dr. D'Ambrosio, the growth curve isn't a matter of being at the top; it's about maintaining a level growth pattern. "If your child starts in the tenth percentile and stays in the tenth percentile as she develops, that's fine," says Dr. D'Ambrosio. "However, if your child starts in the tenth percentile and drops below that level, that's a concern because it could denote possible developmental issues and should be discussed with your doctor."

Pushing your child to learn
When parents push their kids to learn new tasks, like sipping from a cup, too early, it can add an unnecessary level of stress and anxiety for a child. It's okay to introduce new things to your children, advises Dr. D'Ambrosio, but allow them to learn at their own pace. "Early learning does not mean they understand everything; it's about children being exposed to the world around them and their ability to absorb what's going on," explains Dr. D'Ambrosio.

How can I help my child develop?

Participating in movement classes are a great way to help your child develop both physically and mentally. "Movement classes introduce children to a lot of new physical activities like rolling, swinging and balancing," explains Dr. D'Ambrosio. "The classes also give your child the chance to interact with other kids, which is a very important skill." The more your children are around their peers, the easier it is for them to develop physically, mentally and socially.


Dr. D'Ambrosio is a board certified family practitioner and sees patients in Health Quest Medical Practice's office in Fishkill.
"Early learning is not  understanding everything; It’s about children being exposed to the world  around them.


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