Physical development is usually very rapid early on in the child’s development. Within weeks of being born a baby will start to smile and respond to sounds and environments around them. By 6 months as their muscles begin to develop they will reach for and hold objects which they will also put into their mouths.
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By one year old they are beginning to crawl or shuffle, pulling or pushing on furniture to stand and then explore using furniture or adults for support. Sitting has progressed to unaided and they are rolling from their front to their back.
They are beginning to be curious with objects, passing them between hands, handling them in different ways and looking for things that are hiding. Their hand to eye co-ordination improves as items are passed from hand to hand. Their first teeth may start to appear and solid foods may start to be introduced.
Between one and two years walking will begin and toys will start to be pulled/pushed along whilst walking. Objects will be picked up and banged together or built to make a small tower. A preference for one hand may start to appear as they begin to hold crayons etc when mark making on paper.
They enjoy trying to feed themselves both with finger foods and with a spoon, and will drink from a cup with both hands.
Waving goodbye becomes fun, they will begin to point to what they want and shake their head to mean ‘no’.
Between the ages of 2 and 3 mark making on paper will progress to scribbles as they begin to use pencils etc. Balls start to be kicked and thrown. Bricks will be built into larger towers than before, and they will start to experiment with liquids in play by pouring.
At 3 years children begin to gain more independence. Their mobility and climbing skills will be advancing as they run, jump, catch, walk up and down stairs etc. Dexterity increases with small objects like puzzles, threading beads etc. Dressing and undressing will be assisted but more cooperative.
At 4 years boys gross motor skills tend to be more developed when it comes to throwing and aiming, building, climbing, pedalling etc, whereas girls fine motor skills tend to be more developed with the use of scissors, holding a pencil to draw and colour threading small beads sewing stitches etc.
At 5 years children will have more pencil control and will begin to copy letters and shapes, and draw people.
Ball games will develop more structure as they begin to kick with aim. They will begin to learn to hop on one foot, then the other and also to skip.
At 6 years dressing becomes independent at they learn to do buttons, laces etc. Writing becomes more fluent as copying letter shapes has progressed to words and sentences with greater pencil control.
Confidence has increased when playing outside in climbing, jumping from heights and riding a bike.
At 7 years children begin to enjoy playing team games as they are now hitting a ball, running, jumping, skipping, swinging. However until around the age of 9 they may misjudge their ability.
The age between 12 and 19, between childhood and adulthood is referred to as adolescence. Physical development during this period is very different in each child.
As some may be just beginning to mature physically, others may have already reached full physical maturity.
Sequence is the order that development happens in.
Rate is the speed that it happens for example:
sequence = a baby’s physical development may begin with rolling over then sit up, crawl, walk, run. Another may sit up, walk, run missing out rolling over & crawling. Even though elements are missed the development still proceeds in what’s viewed as an expected pattern.
rate = where one baby may achieve walking unaided at 10 months another may accomplish it at 12 months another at 16 months.
This is important because sequence is needed in order to plan effectively for children, looking at rate of development is also essential to help us to know weather a child’s rate of development is at the correct stage for their age group.
There is a range of external and personal factors that influence the development in children and young peoples life’s:
Personal factors such as, health and disability. Health is determined by our genes , diet, environment and stress. Some children may be born with a condition that will automatically effect their life’s, such as a blood disorder. Disability can also effect a child’s development, for example if a child has a hearing impairment they may not be able to learn properly in school unless they have help from an adult.
External factors can also influence a child’s development such as, poverty and diet. Poverty affects children and their families in many different ways. Families living in poverty may not be able to afford good food which leads to poor diet. Having a poor diet can affect a child’s growth, behaviour and development.
Current practice is influenced by theories of development, such as:
â€¢ Cognitive (e.g. Piaget)
â€¢ Psychoanalytic (e.g Freud)
â€¢ Humanist (e.g. Maslow)
â€¢ Social Learning (e.g.Bandura)
â€¢ Operant conditioning (e.g. Skinner)
â€¢ Behaviourist (e.g. Watson)
Vygotsky like piaget posited children learn from hand on experiences. However unlike piaget he claimed that timely and sensitive invention by adults when children are learning a new task (zone of proximal development) could help children to learn new tasks. Vygotsky also stressed the importance of social interaction he felt other children can guide each other’s development as well as adults. Vygotsky also thought that children needed to be active in their own learning and that play is important for holistic learning.
Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs need to be met for a child to reach full potential take anything away from that and child might never reach their potential. This is taken into account daily with the child centred care and holistic approach to child care and well being. Practitioners need to look at the environmental factors such as warmth, food clothes as well as the psychological needs like promoting self esteem, and love.
Showed that children learnt through copying and observing, this can be applied today as if an early years worker with demonstrates an activity the child can learn to do it through copying. Or if a child has a good role model then they are likely to copy the behaviour. But if they see bad behaviour then they will copy the bad behaviour.
Skinners operant conditioning negative and positive reinforcement, this theory can be applied though stickers praise and reward for good behaviour and through disapproval, time out and ignoring unwanted behaviour.
Freud’s work may not be proven but Freud’s work with unconscious actions and peoples mind skills are still used like when a child tells a lie they smile or put their hand over their mouths as if to stop the lie.
Worked on attachment theories which are used in the day to day practice in education and social care at all stages they are given key workers who they build strong attachments to this helps children make transitions in their lives and to be able to make lasting friendships.
Frameworks support development including
â€¢ Social pedagogy
Is a practice concerned with human beings learning, well being and inclusion to society treating children in a child centred way and a holistic way making sure that every child’s needs are met especially those who are in need.
There are many ways to monitor children and young people’s development, for example:
Observation: Observations can be taken during lessons or in the playground. They record what the child is doing in a subjective way. It’s most appropriate to use this method when child’s development is causing concern.
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Assessment framework: It is the way in which child is assessed to decide whether they have any particular needs and what these needs may be. It is useful in deciding whether the child is reaching expected milestones of development in different areas. The assessment framework is how children are assessed in school, for example when a child reads; we write it in their reading records.
Information from colleagues and carers: Parents/carers who know the child and colleagues expertise are invaluable, especially when planning for social and academic success for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. If we are concerned about child’s development it’s good to ask/share information.
Disability can affect several areas of development at the same time but early support might help minimise the effects of the disability.
Emotional reasons, if a child is not settled and having good attachments they are more likely to have low confidence and self esteem they might not try new tasks and have a lack of motivation.
Physical development might be effected by genetics this can mean physical growth difficulties or may be the child might be a slower learner.
Environmental, there are many reasons that can effect child development like poverty, where a child lives, education and their family structure can effect a child’s development.
Culturally how people bring up their children can differ vastly like in china a girl is deemed second class to a boy. Other cultures have restrictions on children’s freedoms this can adversely affect the child’s development.
Social reasons are that for children born into poverty and families whose parents are separated are likely to have negative effects of children’s development or if a family might give less time to activities which aid children’s developments like a lack of play this can also effect child development.
Learning difficulties children might have these due to genetic diseases, birth difficulties, and cognitive difficulties or might just have difficulties with writing or reading.
Communication may be affected by medical reasons such as hearing impairment or being tongue tied. These can cause communication problems, children who have communication needs find it hard to express themselves and can show aggressive behaviour when frustrated. Children who experience communication needs might have problems with reading and writing.
Speech and language can help children overcome most of their problems. By helping children gain the ability to use language they can help children gain confidence and self esteem I have seen this in my setting with children who have had communication and language needs. These children have gained confidence and their language is now at a level that they can interact with other children and not show frustration. This is because they can now express themselves.
The Senco in an educational setting give support to children and families with special needs this person/s is also responsible for identification of special needs.
Additional learning support staff works within and outside schools providing a range of services to help children who have certain specific educational needs. This might include people like teaching assistants or advisors to provide support and train staff.
Youth justice this is based on children with behavioural problems these people will work with them and social workers to help them.
Social workers are there to help vulnerable children and young people and their families this might include children on the child protection register or disabled children.
Psychologist is a professional who helps support children who have learning or behavioural difficulties. They provide teachers and practitioners with aimed support programmes for that child once they have identified the child’s needs.
A specialist nurse provides support for the family and child especially if that child suffers from medical conditions that need specialist care Also health visitors come under this title for measuring and assessing a child’s development .
A psychiatrist is a doctor who is trained in mental health problems this person works alongside other professionals to help diagnose or support children and young people with mental health problems.
Physiotherapist this professional help children with their movement especially those who have little or no movement they are trained to get the maximum movement and skill level. Referrals can take the shape of common assessment form which are filled in then in my setting passed upstairs to the health visitor, speech therapist or other health professionals that are required after being checked by the senco in the room.
Speech and language also have their own referral forms which will be filled in and checked by the senco before being passed to the speech and language therapists.
Early years action plans and plus plans are filled out and passed to the senco who will then speak to an education psychologist. With primary and secondary schools they also have school action plans which will be run through their senco and the school run individual learning plans.
All young Children’s brains are still developing as they grow. Early identification can change the impact of any difficulty if support is provided early enough. Finding ways for children to communicate is vital for their emotional well-being as some children who have language and communication difficulties can become isolated or may develop antisocial behaviours.
once parents and carers have identified that a child needs additional support, a multi-agency approach may be used. If the parent/carer goes to see their health visitor or gp they will then help to make an appropriate referral, this may just be to help rule out hearing or visual impairments. In some cases the gp might refer the child directly to a speech and language service. Some children may need to be assessed by an educational psychologist. Once it is established what kind of support a child needs the right approach can then be carried out in order for parents and the setting to work together.
Children learn their language and communication skills by being around adults and other children especially whilst they are having fun. When children are playing and doing activities that interest them they are usually used to help support their development, language and speech because they’re being motivated; for example singing a nursery rhyme with children this will encourage speech movements and will be more engaging for the child instead of just having to repeat the movements in isolation.
There are different types of transitions that can affect children and young people such as
â€¢ Emotional – personal experiences such as parent’s separating, bereavement, begining or leaveing a place of care.
â€¢ Physical – change in environments
â€¢ Intellectual – moving from one educational establishment to another.
â€¢ Physiological – puberty or medical conditions
An example of a transition that could affect a child could be starting a before or afterschool club, this could affect a child because they may not know any other children at the setting and also may not know any of the staff, there for it could lead to the child being anxious and scared about meeting new people. A way to resolve this is to make sure the child is entering a friendly environment and be sure to introduce them to the other children and adults so that they feel more comfortable in the setting and also maybe ask another child to show them around and be their “buddy” to help them settle in. Also the child may be given a key person to help form a positive relationship with. The idea behind a key person is so that a child has that one person who they should feel they can go to and feel secure within their company. The key person should have a warm relationship with the child and be able to reassure them should they need to, also the key person will monitor the child’s reactions in their new situation as this can provide a warning in some cases where this transition is not temporary.
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