Child development describes the patterns and progress of human development from conception to adolescence. The changes that happen during this period are profound, rapid, and so complex that it is difficult to talk about them all holistically. Therefore, describing how children develop is usually broken into categories or smaller systems. These smaller systems are called domains. The three major developmental domains are physical, social, and cognitive.

Based on nearly a century of careful study, researchers have documented overarching patterns across these domains. Given that the patterns of change occur over time, it is thought that these changes represent normative development. As children mature, the ability or emergence of new skills is sometime referred to as milestones. Major developments, such as beginning to walk or beginning to ...

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