Child Development

The amount of development your child makes over the first few years of life is nothing short of remarkable. Typically they go from being completely helpless newborns to physically able youngsters in a very short space of time.

Click on the sections below for quick access to each area or scroll down the page to see all the content.

Child Development Timeline (Birth to 5 Years)


Not all children develop at the same rate and the following information provides general guidance only.  Do not be concerned if your child is not meeting all the milestones for their age range;  it is perfectly normal for one area to develop quicker than another.  If however your child is not meeting any of the milestones for their age range or the age range below it is worth having a discussion with your Health Visitor for further advice.



Premature babies often have to spend some time in special care units attached to maternity hospitals.  This can be a very frightening experience for new parents, particularly when your tiny baby is in an incubator surrounded with medical equipment and beeping machines.  Staff are there to support you as well as look after your baby and there are still ways you can be involved in your baby's care.

We have provided some downloadable resources that give information on how your baby is processing sensory information as well as the different states of arousal your baby experiences.  Please click on the links on the right to view these resources.

Click here for more information on prematurity

Moving On Questionnaires

The following questionnaires are designed to enable you to check your child's progress at particular stages of development.  


The Moving On To Nursery questionnaire is designed to be used with 2½ to 3½ year old children to see if they have all the skills necessary to participate in nursery.



The Moving On To School questionnaire is designed to be used with 3½ to 5 year old children to see if they have all the skills necessary to participate in school.


Do not worry if your child or has not yet developed the necessary milestones as the questionnaire will provide you with ideas and activities to help achieve these skills and further resources are available throughout KIDS.

Sensory Questionnaires

Everybody's sensory systems develop at different rates, and some people are more sensitive to certain sensory information than others.  This is perfectly normal and we only become concerned about how a person processes sensory information when it starts to interfere with their ability to take part in everyday activities.  We have devised some questionnaires that will provide you with advice and guidance about how to help support your child to cope with everyday sensory experiences.  These questionnaires are suitable for children aged 2-18, and you will be asked to input your child's date of birth to ensure you are directed to the right age range.  If your child is aged between 12 and 18 they may wish to complete the questionnaire by themselves.

We use our vision to interpret information from all we see around us. Some children use their vision differently and can either be more sensitive to visual input (e.g. avoiding bright lights) or less sensitive (e.g. appearing not to see something right in front of them). If you suspect your child does not process visual information as well as they should please complete the following questionnaire and then try using the downloadable strategies to help them. If you have concerns about your child's ability to see things properly please take them to an optician for an eye test.



Listening to the world around us helps us make sense of where we are. Some children can be very sensitive to sound and can react badly to sudden loud noises. This is very common and is part of normal development, however some children can remain sensitive to sound much longer than others. Complete the following questionnaire and download the strategies provided if you feel your child displays some sensitivity to sound.



We experience touch all the time. Our clothes touch us, when we sit our bodies are in contact with the chair, when we stand our feet are touching either the inside of our socks and shoes or are in direct contact with the ground. We can never escape touch!! Some children can be very sensitive to touch; disliking certain textures or being very aware of the labels and seams inside clothing. Other children seem oblivious to touch and don't notice when their shoes are two sizes too small or don't feel pain like the rest of us. If you think your child feels touch differently why not complete the questionnaire and download the advice and ideas at the end?


Our senses of smell and taste are closely linked, as they follow the same neural pathway through the brain. Some people seem not to have a sense of smell, which can be useful in some circumstances (think teenagers bedrooms or school changing rooms!) Other people are so sensitive to certain tastes and smells that they can retch when they walk into a kitchen or classroom. Whilst this is not an issue for most people, it can be for others. It is almost impossible to change how people process smell or taste but you can try different strategies to help reduce the impact. Complete our questionnaire and then download the advice sheets.


Your sense of body awareness is also known as your PROPRIOCEPTIVE sense. It is proprioception that tells your body how your limbs are moving and how much force to use when lifting, squeezing or pushing things. If your sense of body awareness isn't well developed you can appear quite clumsy. If you feel your child is more clumsy than other children their age complete the following questionnaire and use the strategies provided to help them develop their sense of body awareness.


Your sense of movement and balance is known as your VESTIBULAR sense. The nerves that control your vestibular system are located in your inner ear and tell your brain what direction you are moving in, whether your head is up, down or turned to the side, and helps your body stay upright against gravity. Some children can be very sensitive to movement because for them a little bit of movement feels very big and scary. Other children don't register movement as well as others and so they tend to seek out movement all the time! If you think your child moves too much or too little complete this questionnaire and use the strategies to help them develop their sense of movement.