Parents' Corner


At Cooper Kids Therapy Associates we strive to provide therapists and families the knowledge and tools necessary for maximum success. Please explore some of our staff-recommended resources below.

Ages & Stages

Tips & Techniques

Recommended Reading


Ages & Stages

Every child learns and develops differently, and at varying speeds. While some infants progress faster and earlier than others, most children level out over time; however, if you see signs that indicate your child’s progress may be delayed, the earlier you seek help, the better. Below is a general guideline for reviewing your child’s developmental growth:

Birth to 1 year old

This is used for coding purposes, please leave this one here and do not use.

• Able to suck and swallow
• Sleeps most of the day and night
• Begins to smile
• Startles easily in response to loud noise
• May turn towards familiar sounds and voices
• Recognizes bottle or breast
• Turns head from side to side when lying on tummy
• Begins to notice hands

• Rolls from stomach to back
• Sits with some support
• Starts to laugh and coo
• Looks at adult faces
• Grasps toys and brings objects to their mouths
• Turns head toward bright light and color
• Enjoys looking at reflection in mirror
• Plays "peek-a-boo"
• Responds to sounds around them
• Makes or uses different cries to indicate needs
• Repeats the same sounds or babbles

• Creeps or crawls forward on tummy
• Responds to their name and "no"
• Notices and looks for source of new sounds
• Sits independently
• Plays with their toes
• Recognizes familiar faces
• Tries to hold their bottle while feeding
• Expresses anger, sadness, happiness and frustration
• Tries to attract attention

• Pulls to stand
• Crawls or creeps on hands and knees
• Responds to requests such as "Come to mommy"
• Responds to "No"
• Tries to imitate sounds
• Stacks two blocks
• Walks with both hands held
• Waves "bye-bye"
• Says "mama" or "dada"

1-3 years old

This is used for coding purposes, please leave this one here and do not use.

• Says about eight to ten words
• Walks
• Drinks from glass or cup with help
• Attends to one activity for a few minutes
• Investigates surroundings

• Learns to feed self with spoon
• Plays appropriately with toys
• Points to familiar objects
• Uses words with gestures
• Imitates simple scribbles

• Eats table food
• Uses familiar phrases
• Carries objects when walking
• Shows affection
• Says "No" often
• Comprehends simple directions
• Utilizes 15 to 100 words or signs
• Puts 2 to 3 puzzle pieces together
• Learns shapes: circle, square, triangle, etc.
• Listens to stories

• Runs, walks up stairs
• Eats without assistance
• Enjoys playing with other children
• Uses 2- and sometimes 3-word sentences
• Is very sensitive to criticism
• Tries to be independent: "Me do"
• Is aware of opposites: "Up & Down"
• Enjoys being read to

• Jumps in place
• Is curious: asks "Why" and "What" questions
• Shows interest in toilet training
• Becomes easily frustrated
• Identifies eyes, ears and nose by pointing
• Washes and dries hands

Tips & Techniques for Encouraging Speech & Language

Parents can consider the following tips when working towards strengthening the language development of their child, no matter what age:

  • Always face your child when you are talking; talk simply, clearly and slowly.
  • Use your child's name as an attention-getter before delivering the message.
  • Accompany messages with gestures, facial expressions and body language.
  • Use your hands when speaking to show how big or small something is.
  • Name things, animals and people that will be of interest to your child.
  • Expand on what your child has said; ask open-ended questions to draw out a response.
  • Always praise your child's efforts to communicate.

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• Imitate your child's babbling to develop verbal imitation and turn-taking behavior.
• Read to your child every day, perhaps as part of a bedtime routine; include nursery rhymes.
• Play simple games with your child, including "Peek-a-boo" and "Pat-a-cake."
• Accept, by natural response, all of your child's attempts at communication, no matter how primitive.
• Show your child picture books and talk about what you see.

• Help your child listen and follow instructions by playing games, such as "Pick up the Ball" or "Touch Daddy's Nose."
• Repeat new words, over and over.
• Talk about new situations and locations before you go, while you're there, and again, when you are home.
• When you don't understand your child, ask for one repetition; if you still don't understand, ask the child to show you what he or she means.
• Let your child tell you answers to simple questions.
• Describe what you're doing, planning, and thinking.
• Have the child deliver simple messages for you: "Mommy needs you, daddy."
• Sing songs like the "Hokey Pokey," that lead your child to interact with parts of his or her own body.
• Sing and dance to songs that you and your child both know and like.

Recommended Reading

This is used for coding purposes, please leave this one here and do not use.

• American Academy of Pediatrics:

• The Administration for Children and Families on Developmental Disabilities:

• American Pediatric Society/Society for Pediatric Research:

• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:

• Autism Resources:

• Baby Center:

• The Busy Educator's Guide to The World Wide Web:

• Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate:

• Division of Birth Defects, Child Development and Disability and Health:

• Early Childhood News:

• National Association for the Education of Young Children:

• National Early Childhood Technical Assistance System (NECTAS):

• National Information Center for Children & Youth with Handicaps (NICHCY):

• National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:

• National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders:

• National Parent Information Center:

• National Stuttering Association:

• Stuttering Foundation of America:

• Zero to Three:

The Child with Special Needs: Encouraging Intellectual and Emotional Growth
Stanley I. Greenspan and Serena Wieder - January 1998

The Emotional Life of the Toddler
Alicia Lieberman - April 1995

Touch: The Foundation of Experience
(Clinical Infant Report No. 4)
Kathryn E. Barnard and T. Berry Brazelton, Editors - January 1990

Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development - The Essential Reference
T. Berry Brazelton - 1992

You Make the Difference In Helping Your Child Learn
Ayala Manolson with Barbara Ward and Nancy Dodington - 1995

Your Child at Play: Birth to One Year - Discovering the Senses and Learning About the World
Marilyn Segal, Foreword by Wendy Masi - 1998, 2nd edition

Your Child at Play: One to Two Years Exploring, Learning, Making Friends and Pretending
Marilyn Segal, Foreword by Wendy Masi - 1998, 2nd edition

Your Child at Play: Two to Three Years
Marilyn Segal, Foreword by Wendy Masi - March 1998

Your Child at Play: Two to Three Years - Growing Up, Language, and the Imagination
Marilyn Segal, Foreword by Wendy Masi - 1998, 2nd edition

Learning Early: Everything Parents Need to Encourage and Develop Their Child's Skills from Birth to Six Years of Age
Dorothy Einon, Anna Fischel (Editor) - Created by Marshall Editions Limited - April 1999

Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, from Infant to Toddler - Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child
Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Duffy - August 1998

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby - From Birth to Age Two Volume I
William and Martha Sears - December 1992

From the Heart: On Being the Mother of a Child with Special Needs
Patricia Bowman, Renee Newman, Martha Grady, Martha Kendrick, Jennie Ladew-Duncan, Susan Mentzer, Ruth Pease, Kathleen Son, Lynn Spadinger, Jayne D.B. Marsh (Editor) - September 1995

Small Steps Forward: Using Games and Activities to Help Your Pre-School 
Child with Special Needs

Sarah Newman, Jeanie Mellersh (Illustrator) - June 1999

Eagle Doctor: Stories of Stephen, My Child with Special Needs
Chrissy L. Nelson, Bonnie J. Hayskar (Editor) - December 1999

The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish
T. Berry Brazelton, Stanley I. Greenspan - September 2000

The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising and Enjoying the Five "Difficult" Types of Children
Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., Jacqueline Salmon - October 1996

Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences That Create Intelligence 
and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children

Stanley I. Greenspan, with Nancy Breslau Lewis - October 2000

The Growth of the Mind: And the Endangered
Stanley I. Greenspan, with Beryl Lieff Benderly - September 1998

First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child
Stanley I. Greenspan, Nancy Thorndike Greenspan - March 1989

The Clinical Interview of the Child
Stanley I. Greenspan, with Nancy Thorndike Greenspan, Paperback American Psychiatric - September 1995

Infancy and Early Childhood: Practice Clinical Assessment and 
Intervention with Emotional and Developmental Challenges

Stanley I. Greenspan - December 1993

Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child
Kyle D. Pruett - December 1999

Me, Myself and I: How Children Build Their Sense of Self, 18 to 36 Months
Kyle D. Pruett - July 1999

Dorothy Einon's Learning Early: Everything Parents Need to Encourage and Develop Their Child's Learning Skills from Birth to Six Years of Age
Dorothy Einon - April 1999

Play with a Purpose: Learning Games for Children Six Weeks to Ten Years
Dorothy Einon, John Farndon - June 1986

What to Expect: The First Year
Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway - April 1996

What to Expect: The Toddler Years
Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway - November 1996

Games to Play with Babies
Jackie Silberg, Linda Greigg (Illustrator) - September 1995

125 Brain Games for Babies: Simple Games to Promote Early Brain Development
Jackie Silberg, Rebecca J. Malone (Illustrator) - May 1999

Games to Play with Toddlers
Jackie Silberg, Linda Greigg (Illustrator) - September 1995

125 Brain Games for Toddlers and Twos: Simple Games to Promote Early Brain Development
Jackie Silberg, Laura D'Argo (Illustrator) - May 2000

Games to Play with Two Year Olds
Jackie Silberg, Linda Greigg (Illustrator) - September 1995

500 Five Minute Games: Quick and Easy Activities for 3-6 Year Olds
Jackie Silberg, Rebecca Jones (Illustrator) - September 1995

300 Three Minute Games: Quick and Easy Activities for 2-5 Year Olds
Jackie Silberg, Cheryl Kirk Noll (Illustrator) - August 1997

More Games to Play with Toddlers
Jackie Silberg, Cheryl Kirk Noll (Illustrator) - September 1996

Go Anywhere Games for Babies: The Packable, Portable Book of Infant Development and Bonding!
Jackie Silberg - September 2000

The I Can't Sing Book: For Grownups Who Can't Carry a Tune in a Paperbag – but Want to Do Music with Young Children
Jackie Silberg - May 1998

I Love Children Songbook
Jackie Silberg - August 1997

My Toes Are Starting to Wiggle
Jackie Silberg - January 1991

Peanut Butter, Tarzan and Roosters
Jackie Silberg - January 1987

Songs to Sing with Babies: Songs and Games to Develop Skills in Young Children 0-6 Years
Jackie Silberg - October 1983

Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five
Penelope Leach, Jenny Matthews - October 1997

Penelope Leach - June 1983

Your Growing Child: From Babyhood through Adolescence
Penelope Leach - March 1986

Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5
Steven P. Shelov (Editor), Robert E. Hannemann (Editor) - June 1998

Your Baby's First Year
Steven P. Shelov (Editor), Robert E. Hannemann (Editor), Created by American Academy of Pediatrics - June 1998

Guide To Your Child's Symptoms: The Official, Complete Home Reference, Birth through Adolescence
Donald Schiff (Editor), Steven P. Shelov (Editor) - December 1998

The Complete and Authoritative Guide: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child
Aimee Liu, Steven P. Shelov (Editor), Robert E. Hannemann (Editor), 
Wendy Wray (Illustrator), Alex Grey (Illustrator) - July 1998

Daniel Bernstein, Steven P. Shelov (Editor) - January 1996

Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5
Steven Patrick Shelov, Robert E. Hannemann (Editor) - February 1993

Discovery Play: Loving and Learning with Your Baby
Arthur Ulene - March 1994

Raising Your Type A Child: How to Help Your Child Make the Most of an Achievement-Oriented Personality
Steven Patrick Shelov, Leslie Wells (Editor) - August 1991

How to Teach Your Baby to Read: The Gentle Revolution
Glenn Doman, Janet Doman - December 1993

What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child: Or Your Brain-Damaged, Mentally Retarded, Mentally Deficient, Cerebral-Palsied, Spastic, Flaccid, Rigid, Epileptic, Autistic, Athetoid, Hyperactive, Down's Child
Glenn Doman, with David Melton - February 1994

The Magic Years: Understanding and Handling the Problems of Early Childhood
Selma H. Fraiberg - November 1996

How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life
Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek - July 2000

Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk
Linda Acredolo, Susan Goodwyn - May 1996

Baby Minds: Brain-Building Games Your Baby Will Love, Birth to Age Three
Linda Acredolo, Susan Goodwyn - July 2000

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding developmental disorders.

This is used for coding purposes, please leave this one here and do not use.

A communication disorder is the inability to understand or use speech and language to relate to others in society, which can be divided into four areas:

  • Language - this involves listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Speech (articulation) - the pronunciation of sounds and words
  • Voice - the sound produced by vibration of the vocal cords
  • Stuttering - a disruption in the normal flow or rhythm of speech

Although no two children develop at the same pace, a child's communication is considered delayed when the child is significantly behind his or her peers in the acquisition of speech and language skills. If you think your child may have a problem, it is best to seek professional assistance as soon as possible.

Language disorder is an impairment in the ability to understand and/or use words in context, both verbally and non-verbally. Some characteristics include improper use of words and their meanings, inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, and reduced vocabulary. Language disorders may be spoken, written, or both.

Speech disorder refers to difficulties producing speech sounds or problems with voice quality. Speech disorders may involve problems with the way sounds are formed, or with pitch, volume or quality of the voice.

Voice disorder is a disorder that includes hoarseness, breathiness, or sudden breaks in the quality, pitch, and loudness of the sound.

Fluent speech is smooth, unhesitant, and virtually effortless. A dysfluency, however, is a rhythm disorder where a break in fluent speech occurs. Stuttering is, perhaps, the most serious dysfluency.

The causes behind the majority of communication disorders are still a mystery to us, because the brain is very complex and our understanding of how it works is somewhat limited. Below, however, are some known causes of communication disorders:

  • Hearing impairment
  • Physical disability
  • Developmental disability

A child with speech delays may present a variety of characteristics, including the inability to follow directions, slow and incomprehensible speech, and pronounced difficulties in syntax and articulation.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of severe disorders of development. They can disrupt social relationships and communication, play, and academic skills. ASDs usually lead to lifelong disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 1 in 88 children in the US have an ASD. Science shows that early detection of ASD, when followed by the right interventions, can lead to better outcomes for children affected by autism. These include improved language, social, and adaptive functioning, as well as a reduction in inappropriate behaviors. It is important to identify and refer children with ASD as early as possible to the Early Intervention Program.

PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes use the term “pervasive developmental disorders” and “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) interchangeably. As such, PDD-NOS became the diagnosis applied to children or adults who are on the autism spectrum but do not fully meet the criteria for another ASD such as autistic disorder (sometimes called “classic” autism) or Asperger Syndrome.

PDD-NOS is characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may notice associated behaviors as early as infancy. These may include delays in using and understanding language, difficulty relating to people, unusual play with toys and other objects, difficulty with changes in routine or surroundings and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns.

All Cooper Kids Therapy Associates services are provided at no cost to the family; funding is authorized by the New York State Department of Health and New York City’s Early Intervention Program (NYC-EIP).

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