Physical Characteristics

Gains 5-7 pounds/year and grows 2-3 inches/year


Motor Development

Has increased muscle strength

Enjoys vigorous physical activity: running, jumping, climbing, throwing

Writes numbers and letters with varying degrees of precision

Folds and cuts paper into simple shapes

Ties own shoes (a struggle for some children)


Cognitive Development

Names and correctly holds up right and left hands fairly consistently

Recognizes some words by sight, attempts to sound out words


Speech and Language Development

Learns as many as 5-10 new words a day (10,000-14,000 word vocabulary)

Uses appropriate verb tenses, word order, and sentence structure

Carries on adult-like conversations; asks many questions


Personal-Social Development

Experience sudden mood swings (“best friends” one minute and “enemies” the next)

Becomes less dependent on parents as friendship circle expands

Cannot tolerate being corrected or losing a game


Check with your child's pediatrician if by Seven Years your child does NOT:

Shows signs of ongoing growth: increasing height and weight; continuing motor development, such as running, jumping, balancing

Show some interest in reading and trying to reproduce letters, especially own name

Follow simple, multiple-step directions: “Finish your book, put it on the shelf, and then get your coat on.”

Follow through with instructions and complete simple tasks most of the time: putting dishes in the sink, picking up clothes, finishing a puzzle

Begin to develop alternatives to excessive use of inappropriate behaviors in order to get own way

Develops a steady decrease in tension-type behaviors that may have developed with starting school: repeated grimacing; grinding of teeth, regressive soiling and wetting; frequent stomachaches; refusing to go to school

Did you answer yes to one or more of the developmental alerts?

  1. First and foremost, please contact your child's pediatrician. Your health care provider is your best resource if you have any questions or concerns.
  2. Secondly, would you like to speak with someone at Special Kids to learn more about how our services may benefit your child? Contact our Family Resources team to learn more.

*Developmental milestone survey adapted from Lynn Marotz and K. Eileen Allen's book Developmental Profiles: Pre-birth through Adolescence.