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Experts concerned after CDC changes developmental milestone for kids

For the first time in 20 years, the CDC has updated its developmental milestones for kids to help parents spot delays soo
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 7:14 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2022 at 12:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - For the first time in 20 years, the CDC updated its developmental milestones for kids to help parents spot delays sooner.

However, some experts are raising concerns as the new guidelines pushed back some benchmarks.

“With all the developments we have in the medical field, in everything, it feels we should be farther ahead instead of going backwards,” said Jacqueline Vaughn, a mother of four.

Vaugh and her son’s speech language pathologist, Tamra Mullen, are worried after seeing the new guidelines list fewer milestones.

“The new milestones just completely miss the mark,” Mullen said.

Some speech and language goals are delayed to older ages.

For example, a 1-year-old should be able to point out two body parts when asked but the CDC has pushed this skill back to 2 years old. She said a 2-year-old should be able to say 50 words but now the milestone is for 2 1/2-year olds.

“I have noticed changes in the past couple of years,” she said. “Kids are not getting the same social opportunities they are used to.”

She said the changes come at a time when many parents are concerned by how the pandemic may have impacted development.

“We really need to look at what is typical rather than what is disordered,” Mullen said.

She wants parents to be aware of the changes and recommends going to a professional if you feel your child is falling behind.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association released a statement in response to the changes. ASHA said it’s concerned about the inconsistencies and wants the agency to listen to speech language experts when making changes.

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