Serving Northwest Michigan

Offering Support and Guidance

Dr. O'Donnell offers caring and professional consultation and guidance if you have concerns about your infant or young child's developing ability to communicate, share delight, or relate to you and to others. As you know, the first few years for a child set the foundations for lifelong development. If you have concerns about your child’s development in those early years, seeking support and guidance to identify and address those concerns can be invaluable in ensuring optimal development for your child.

Identifying early challenges

If an infant is not achieving the following milestones, or at any time appears to be losing skills such as speech or social babbling, a referral to an professional who can evaluate developmental delays may be warranted. (This information is based on “ Early identification guidelines for Autism)” however, THESE SIGNS ALONE DO NOT  WARRANT AN AUTISM DIAGNOSIS AND  DO NOT MEAN AUTISM IS INEVITABLE.)  

Dr. O'Donnell has extensive training in child development and parent-child attachment.

You can call Dr. O’Donnell with concerns about your child’s early development


2 months: Able to be calm and focus on sights and sounds

3 months: Develop social smile, smile at the sound of a familiar voice, watch faces intently, coo, and make other noises.

6 months: Recognize caregivers and seem happy to see them. Seem interested in different sights and sounds, and begin to babble. Make warm, joyful expressions.

9 months: Engage and enjoy back-and-forth interactions, smiles, and other facial expressions, and respond to their names.

12 months: Point to show, reach for things. Wave and say one word, in addition to "Mama" and "Dada", engage in social babbling.

18 months: Should say 10-25 single words. Point to objects that interest them and bring things to show caregivers.

12-16 months: Engage in shared social problem solving and playing, including taking a caregivers hand to find a toy or favorite food; playing with a toy and caregiver together with lots of back-and-forth. Exchange in sounds and social gestures such as smiles, looks, and pointing.

24 months: Say at least 50 words, use 2-word, meaning full phrases like "Doll, mine", "Daddy go".


Citation: Centers for Disease Control and the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disabilities (2007).

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