Developmental norms are milestones that encompass the abilities acquired as a child ages, including cognitive, language, social and motor skills. Used by pediatricians, developmental norms are a guide when evaluating children for signs of developmental delay. Parents also often use the benchmarks to assess the progress of their child.

Motor skills are a category of developmental norms that describes the use of muscle groups to perform physical movements. Gross motor skills involve large muscle groups for balancing and altering positions while walking, standing and sitting. Fine motor skills include smaller movements, such as tasks done with the hands.

Language development includes a variety of components in addition to speech, such as body language and hearing. There are a number of disorders that are discovered due to deficiencies or delays in language development. Diagnosing problems in language development early is important for treating disorders effectively.

A cognitive development assessment evaluates thinking and comprehension skills. It gauges the capacity for learning and remembering. Reasoning and solving problems are also essential skills that are measured with cognitive development.

Social skills are another type of developmental norm. Behaviors and attitudes about cooperation, sharing and other social norms are observed. Relationships, interactions and responses to family members, peers, teachers and other social groups are considered in this type of developmental assessment.