“Ask any child development expert, and they will tell you that children do not develop in a straight line. There are no average children. There are no standard children.” ~ Cassi Clausen

All children develop at different rates and are unique. At 1 Stop we recognise that each child is unique in the way that they learn to move, grow and gain skills. The growth and development of a child is fascinating and complex, involving many different aspects such as; movement and hand skills, overcoming challenges and interacting with those around them. The timing of your child’s skill development may differ to others, with each new skill dependant on achieving the previous skill.

In some instances, children may have underlying issues that cause their development to be delayed and may require assistance and intervention to support them in reaching their potential. If you are concerned about your child’s development, then we encourage you to see a skilled member of our team or, seek the assistance of your GP, Paediatrician or Child and Youth Health Nurse. It is better to have your concerns addressed, than to wait and see, as early intervention is most effective.

Areas of Growth and Development

When assessing and talking to you about child development, our team members may discuss the following areas as well as specific milestones; skills or area of concern that you may have.

Gross motor

Gross motor skills involve using the large muscles in our core, arms and legs to complete whole-body movements. This includes activities like standing, walking, running, climbing, throwing, catching and jumping.   Gross motor skills involve balance, coordination, body awareness, strength and reaction time and form the basis of our fine motor muscle movements. Children use these skills to have successful experiences at school, on the playground, riding a bike or scooter, swimming, participating in sports and within the community.

Fine motor

Fine motor skills involve movements using the small muscles in our arms, hands and wrists. Fine motor skills are complex and involve gross motor skills, finger strength, dexterity, manipulation, body awareness and eye hand coordination. This includes activities like holding pencils, drawing, writing, using scissors, blocks, beads, craft and self-care skills like brushing teeth, getting dressed, doing buttons and shoelaces. Kids use these skills to do key work tasks in school, play and in everyday life.

Talking, language and understanding communication

Talking / speech skills are the ability to express language verbally and includes articulation which is the way sounds and words are formed. Kids have many ways of expressing themselves from looking at you; smiling, gurgling, saying mum/dad; individual words and sentences; to expressing and demanding their opinions. Language and understanding how to use it is the entire system of giving and getting information. It is understanding and being understood in a meaningful way, with verbal, nonverbal and written forms of communication. Children use these skills every day and is the key to learning and developing social skills required in daily life.

Social and emotional

Social and emotional skills are a child’s ability to understand their own and the feelings of others; control his or her own feelings and behaviours; get along with other children and build relationships with adults. These may also include learning to wait; take turns; ask for help; understand complex instructions; cooperate; pay attention; play with others; play team games; have friendships and positive health, everyday interactions and relationships.


Cognitive skill development involves the progressive building of learning skills, such as attention, memory and thinking. These crucial skills enable children to process sensory information and eventually learn to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons and understand cause and effect. Although some cognitive skill development is related to a child’s genetic makeup, most cognitive skills are learned. That means thinking and learning skills can be improved with practice and the right training.

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Developmental Milestones for Different Ages

Each child is unique in the way that they develop and when they attain developmental milestones. All children develop at different rates, however certain gross motor, fine motor, language, social, intellectual skills and changes occur at certain ages. Children learn different skills and build upon skills at different times such as; when they are a baby, toddler, preschooler, primary school student, teenager; high school student or a young adult.

Early childhood visits with your CAFHS nurse and other specialists will check key body systems and their development such as hearing, eyesight, nutrition, medical conditions, genetic conditions and pregnancy / birth issues. Sleep and learning to settle to sleep are essential skills which support your child’s growth and development. 1 Stop Health can offer a ‘SleepWise’ group program to help your child to develop good sleep patterns. Our team can also help connect you to specialist medical staff and sleep support organisations.

There is great variation in when children crawl, walk or talk etc. Some children are slower than others but catch up over time. Other children may have an underlying problem that causes their delayed development and they may not catch up. It is important that children who are delayed in their development receive assessment and advice as early as possible (early intervention).

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Parents and parenting styles are as different as each child and their development. There is no one right way to parent. Parenting is a learning experience as your child grows. Our team has a family and child centred focus, realising that parents are pivotal in supporting their child to develop. We see parents as having an ongoing role in implementing therapy strategies and working to develop their child’s skills on an everyday basis.

We aim to support you as a parent, your strengths and wellbeing, your knowledge and confidence and the role you can play in your child’s development. You are the expert on your child and family. Your knowledge allows our therapists insight to your child’s issues and means to work together to achieve the best outcomes for your child, you and your family.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorder is considered a lifelong developmental disability. Health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum”, a group of disorders with similar features but varying in severity.

To receive a diagnosis of Autism there are 3 main areas professionals look for.

These are:

  • Social interaction
  • Delayed communication
  • Ritualistic and stereotyped interests or behaviours

Different people with autism can have very different characteristics. An autistic child can be described as anxious; have poor attention and motivation; have poor eye contact, have poor facial emotional expression; lack social understanding and social play skills; lack emotional understanding; respond unusually to many different stimuli (noise / light / movement/ touch / smell, body awareness) and is observed as being ‘different’ from other children. Speech can be delayed, or largely absent; they may not seek or show affection; lack interest in the world around them; having difficulty sleeping or eating a range of foods. They may have a strong reliance on routine and the child can have a range of ritualistic behaviours such as toe walking, hand flapping and finger gazing.

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