Early Identification - Adaptive Milestones

By: Learning Disabilities Association of America

The course of children's development is mapped using a chart of developmental milestones.

These milestones are behaviors that emerge over time, forming the building blocks for growth and continued learning. Some of the categories within which these behaviors are seen include:

Adaptive Milestones

Adaptive skills incorporate the area of self-help skills such as eating, drinking and dressing.

  • By one:
    • feeds self cracker
    • holds cup with two hands; drinks with assistance
    • holds out arms and legs while being dressed
  • Between ages one and two:
    • uses spoon, spilling little
    • drinks form cup with one hand, unassisted\d
    • chews food
    • unzips large zipper
    • indicates toilet needs
    • removes shoes, socks, pants, sweater
  • Between ages two and three:
    • uses spoon, little spilling
    • gets drink form fountain or faucet independently
    • opens door by turning handle
    • takes off coat
    • puts on coat with assistance
    • washes and dries hands with assistance
  • Between ages three and four:
    • pours well form small pitcher
    • spreads soft butter with knife
    • buttons and unbuttons large buttons
    • washes hands independently
    • blows nose when reminded
    • uses toilet independently
  • Between ages four and five:
    • Cuts easy foods with a knife
    • laces shoes
  • Between ages five and six:
    • dresses self completely
    • ties bow
    • brushes teeth independently
    • crosses streets safely

Learning Disabilities Association of America (1999)