Summaries child development from 0-2, 3-5, 5-8 years
It has been observed that the majority of children display common changes in a number of different ways from birth through to adulthood. This process is known as development and is described by Beer (2005 – McCall reference material) as the process of learning new skills and abilities and acquiring emotional maturity. There are 5 key areas of development that are outlined and sourced by many childcare institutions that are based on studies by American Psychologist
Arnold Sell (in Harper and Row 1977). The areas are: physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social. The developmental milestones between ages 0-2, 3-5 and 5-8 years will now be outlined. From Birth to 2 years, a baby grows, gains weight and develops mobility rapidly, learning to roll, crawl, stand and walk in succession. Jean Pigged (in Smith et al, 1998) describes this phase as the sensors-motor stage when babies use their senses to explore and create mental representations of their environments known as schemas which provide links through memory between different experiences, grouping representations gather.
For instance grabbing and sucking objects adds to their ‘sucking’ schema or group of thoughts. They also learn to recognize the faces of their main careers early on. Babies and children of this age enjoy stimulation from careers and brightly colluded objects. They learn through imitation and often reflect the mood being expressed around them, for instance laughing in response to laughter. By 2 years of age they also begin to enjoy fantasy games as their memory develops.
Language develops gradually by physical imitation and association, beginning simple sounds and vowels, building up to simple words ND by age 2 are thought to use a vocabulary of around 50 words. Emotionally and socially babies form attachments to their main careers from birth when they are initially very trusting but gradually become less so at around 6-9 months upwards which varies from child to child. By 2 years a child’s sense of identity and their memory capability increases, as well being able to play more independently and discover things for themselves.
From 3-5 years of age children are becoming increasingly confident physically, learning to balance, skillfully manipulate objects such a ball and improving their nine motor skills so that they may enjoy drawing coloring and imitating writing. Their language ability has increased, speaking in full, sentences, asking many curious questions although they may get frustrated at not being able to fully express their thoughts and needs through language resulting in ‘temper tantrums’.
At this age, children become more aware of their emotions and increase their understanding of others emotions which is necessary for the development of friendships, requiring empathy and sharing that also establish around this time. By 5 years old many children will have started attending nursery or reception classes at primary school, are being taught literacy and innumeracy and can usually understand and write simple words such as their name. Between ages of 6-8 years old children are becoming more physically confident, agile and more willing to try new things.
A child developing normally will be able to read and write independently and use a wide vocabulary to accurately describe and express their thoughts and feelings. They also will have a number of friends who they may quarrel with as they become more competitive ND develop their sense of identity. There are many psychologist who have constructed theories about how and why children develop in the way they do and various theorists have found that development is affected by many social, economic and environmental factors which may extend to a period before birth which will now be discussed.
Analyses key social, economic and environmental factors which may influence development
Level Boycotts (in London, 2010) theorists that a child’s cognitive and skills development are heavily influenced by social interaction and highlights the significance of emotional content during the interactions. Studies have found that emotional development is affected by social factors such as love and affection and children deprived of affection or who are abused will struggle to form healthy relationships and boundaries.
Children who have divorced parents who fight can be severely impacted emotionally and display challenging behavior due to the anger, sadness and a range of emotions that children may feel. Divorce rates are currently very high in the UK and the number of children affected each year is about 240,000 (http://www. Solution. Org. UK). It is estimated that a third of all children will see their parents’ divorce before their 16th birthday. If high quality relationships are also important for development then any experiences that have an adverse effect on relationships would also affect development.
Children who are abused are often fearful of authority figures and may also be too distressed to engage fully in activities in order to gain the fullest learning experience. According to reported figures approximately 1 in 20 children in the UK have or will suffer sexual abuse (wan. NSP. Org. UK). When a child experiences distress or many reasons including abuse they will usually display changes in behavior such as social withdrawal or bullying behavior among many others.
Other kinds of environmental changes such a moving house or school can also have a detrimental effect on a child’s behavior as friendships they have formed end suddenly. Children need lots of preparation and dialogue in order to cope with these changes in a balanced way as they may experience the loss in the same way as bereavement. Economic factors such s financial affluence will have an effect on the kind of environment a child is raised in. Jean Pigged (in London 201 0) emphasized environmental/ economic factors such as having a stimulating environment and appropriate toys as being essential for skill development.
He proposed that children are active participants in their own learning, independent of adult influence. According to Pigged if a family is struggling to create a stimulating environment due to job loss or wider cultural poverty it will affect the child’s accumulation of skills regardless of a loving social environment. His influence was a main stimulator in the concept of ‘learning through play with a strictly non-intervention role for adults.
Economic factors such as poverty or job loss may influence development in a number of ways. For instance; if a parent loses a job or raises a child as a single parent they may not have the financial resources to provide a wide range of stimulating toys or have the energy required to make best use of the toys they have. Job loss may also put marital relations under strain which will impact the quality of interactions between parents and family members which may also effect behavior and development.
Lack of financial stability may also have a physical impact on a child if the financial impact is so severe that dietary needs cannot easily be met. The level and severity of poverty will vary from culture to culture and some families may cope better than others with economic and environmental challenges such as poor housing and poverty. Those families with a high quality emotional bonds and loving interaction may be less susceptible to distress due to external circumstances which would reduce overall impact. Part 3 Describe children’s overall developmental needs.
For optimum development, children require a loving environment with physical affection where healthy attachments are formed with parental figures or careers. They require a stimulating environment, to be physically active and maintain a balanced diet which supports growth. Some observations still used by pediatricians started with studies by Sell (in Harper and Row 1977) which described in detail different aspects of child development and theorists that children acquire knowledge automatically on condition that they are healthy.
Although children develop at different rates it is accepted that there are realistic elections that will be passed through in order such as crawling before walking and a lack of presence of these milestones may be used as medical indicators of a need for additional support. The presence of siblings in a family is not essential for normal development but can provide a rich environment for learning social skills and co-operative behavior although this can arguably be learned through any regular and secure contact with other children / teachers or family.
Children also need secure, consistent boundaries set by parental figures and respect for routine which encourages children to feel secure in their environment. Marrows hierarchy of needs (1970 on www. Cosmologically. Org/Mason. HTML) states that human beings are motivated to progressively fulfill different needs beginning with physiological, followed by safety, social, self-esteem and self-actualization. A child’s development tends to run alongside this hierarchy with mainly physical, safety and social needs at the start of life and gradually developing different needs according to stage of development.
This model gives a simple picture of developmental needs of a child as well as how a child’s needs may progress later n in to adulthood. As a child grows, the kind of values that are communicated to children through parents can become apparent in behavior. Children need to be taught about diversity and equality of human beings in order to promote a healthy response to discrimination and to value a non-aggressive approach to others as well as learning to reflect on their own emotions in order to take responsibility for their actions.
The descriptions of developmental milestones are useful as a tangible and fast reference to assess whether a child is likely to be developing normally. It seems that the effects of some unmet needs such as economic instability can be compensated for by fulfillment of other needs such as strong emotional bonds with others. All children need to be treated as individuals with different strengths and when it comes to children with severe disabilities, using milestones of normal development becomes very difficult.
Often, special schools are required to cater for a range of physical and emotional support needs that mainstream schools can’t provide. These children may have difficulty in a particular area as in the case of severely autistic hillier who find it very difficult to recognize social queues and insight in to the behavior of others and find it difficult to form friendships, seen as so important for skill development.
Children with these kinds of disabilities have a totally different standard of normal behavior and possibly different environmental requirements for their well-being. For children coping with mild disabilities in main stream schools, they will need extra support and understanding from family and from school staff to promote their self-esteem and prevent them from being singled out and bullied.