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Sensory Processing (or Integration as it is also known) is the effective registration (and accurate interpretation) of sensory input in the environment (including one’s body). It is the way the brain receives, organises and responds to sensory input in order to behave in a meaningful & consistent manner.

Note: Each stage of development assumes that the preceding stages have been successfully achieved.

How to use this chart: Review the skills demonstrated by the child up to their current age. If you notice skills that have not been met below their current age contact Kid Sense Child Development on 1800 KIDSENSE (1800 543 736).

 

Age Developmental milestones Possible implications if milestones not achieved 
 0-6 months
  • Recognizes scent of mother’s breast milk
  • Hearing is mature
  • Tracks objects with eyes
  • Looks at own hands
  • Responds to sounds and voice
  • Reaches for nearby objects
  • Actively coordinates suck, swallow, breath sequence, tongue is cupped, forward rhythmical movements of the tongue, and jaw consistently moves up and down in a coordinated pattern
  • Sleeps 4-10 hour intervals
  • Cries to communicate hunger, fear, discomfort
  • May have difficulty with breast feeding
  • May have difficulties settling to sleep
  • May cry often
 6-12 months
  • Plays 2-3 minutes with a single toy
  • Imitates gestures
  • Uses tongue to move food around mouth
  • Opens mouth to be fed
  • Sleeps 10-12 hours with only 1 awakening
  • Tolerates a range of different textured foods
  • Drinks from a cup
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods
  • May have difficulties settling and may wake often during the night
  • May have difficulties socialising with parents and joint attention
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
 1-2 years
  • Bothered by soiled nappy
  • Distinguishes between edible and inedible objects (18 months)
  • Understands common dangers of hot objects, stairs, glass
  • Enjoys messy play
  • Reacts to extremes in temperature
  • Copies sounds that you make
  • Looks for an object he/she watched fall out of sight (such as a spoon that fell under the table)
  • Follow simple 1 step instructions
  • Solves problems with trial and error
  • May have difficulties socialising with parents and joint attention
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have delayed play skills (e.g. show little interest in toys)
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods
  • May have difficulties settling and may wake often during the night
 2-3 years
  • Uses toilet with assistance and has daytime control
  • Sits to look at books independently
  • Pays attention for 3 minutes
  • Begins to be able to take turns
  • Explores surroundings
  • Points to 5-6 parts of a doll when asked
  • Matches circles and squares
  • May have trouble socialising with peers and joint attention
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home/child care
  • May demonstrate delayed play skills
  • May demonstrate difficulties with toilet training
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
 3-4 years
  • Can count 1-5
  • Knows most colours
  • Can differentiate between real and pretend world
  • Takes turns
  • Able to completely clothe self, only requiring assistance with laces, buttons, and other fasteners in awkward places
  • Feeds self without difficulty
  • Social encounters are acted out through play activities
  • May have difficulties socialising with peers
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, childcare, kindergarten, pre-school
  • May have difficulties expressing wants, needs, thoughts and ideas
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
4-5 years
  • Can count 1-10
  • Knows shapes
  • Develops friendships
  • Expresses emotions
  • Able to follow rules
  • Able to sit and pay attention (e.g. mat time)
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home or kindergarten
  • May have difficulties expressing wants, needs, thoughts and ideas
  • May have difficulties sitting still
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
5-6 years
  • 20/20 vision
  • Able to write numbers and letters
  • Begins to be able to write simple sentences
  • Begins to recognise others perspectives
  • Knows left and right
  • Begins to reason and argue; uses words like why and because
  • Can categorize objects: “These are toys; These are books”
  • Understand concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
  • Can copy complex shapes, such as a diamond
  • Should be sounding out simple words like “hang”, “neat”, “jump” and “sank”
  • Can sit at a desk , follow teacher instructions, and independently do simple in-class assignments
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May have poor attention and concentration
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, school
  • May have difficulties retelling events
  • May have difficulties following routines
  • May have difficulties expressing thoughts and ideas verbally and in written form
  • May be easily distracted and have difficulty sitting still
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
 6-7 years
  • Forms numbers and letters correctly
  • Recognises others perspective
  • Develops a longer attention span
  • Are willing to take on more responsibility (i.e. chores)
  • Understands fractions and the concept of space
  • Understands money
  • Can tell time
  • Can name months and days of the week in order
  • Enjoys reading a book on their own
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May have poor attention and concentration
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, school
  • May have difficulties retelling events
  • May have difficulties expressing thoughts and ideas verbally and in written form
  • May have difficulties responding appropriately to questions
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)

 

This chart was designed to serve as a functional screening of developmental skills per age group.  It does not constitute an assessment nor reflect strictly standardised research.

The information in this chart was compiled over many years from a variety of sources. This information was then further shaped by years of clinical practice as well as therapeutic consultation with child care, pre-school and school teachers in South Australia about the developmental skills necessary for children to meet the demands of these educational environments. In more recent years, it has been further modified by the need for children and their teachers to meet the functional Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) requirements that are not always congruent with standardised research.