Assignment 2 2

Assignment 2

2.1 Identify stages and sequences of development from birth to seven years in the following areas:
• Cognition
• Neurological and brain development
• Speech, language and communication
• Physical
• Personal, social and emotional
Stages and sequences in child development help us to understand the changes a baby should go through and when. At the same time, it clarifies our expectations towards them. Development typically happens in particular order, but can occur at different rates. The areas below are altogether linked, even though I will identify them separately during different times.
Birth to 1 year old
Cognition
During this period the baby grows up typically very fast and a lot of changings take place. He goes from thinking that a toy is literally disappearing in front of him to looking for them when they are missing. Little by little he develops the ability to recognize familiar people as well. In this time, the baby learns through physical senses and especially of the mouth. For ex. he likes to put things in and take of the mouth or repeat same behavior.
Neurological and brain development
When the baby arrives, a lot of work and growth has already been done on the brain. However, the brain continues to develop at an amazing rate throughout the first year. At birth, the child already has almost all of the neurons they’ll need for the rest of their lives, even though his brain is only 25% the size of an adult brain and it doubles in size in the first year. Newborns can recognize human faces, which they prefer over other objects, and can even discriminate between happy and sad expressions. At birth, a baby knows her mother’s voice and may be able to recognize the sounds of stories her mother read to her while she was still in the womb.
Speech, language and communication
The baby may not speak until age one or later but while he learns to speak, he listens to other people speaking and starts to babble. At this stage he begins to recognize his name and will turn around. Now he can understand simple messages.
Personal, social and emotional
He starts learning to live as part, firstly of a family and later of a society and wider. This means that he starts to create secure attachments with family people, even if he enjoys the company of other people, his primary caregiver is the most important figure. He can become emotional in things like when routine is changed or when the caregiver leaves.
Physical
Regarding to the physical development, he doubles birth weight at six month and develops the ability to sit down, stand up, roll over and walk holding somewhere. He takes pleasure from grasping objects and then dropping them deliberately.
1 year old – 2 years old
Cognition
During this time the baby is still learning through physical senses. He imitates other people’s emotions or movements. Starts to play with his toys but it doesn’t prefer to play with other kids even so, he is becoming more confident in his actions.
Neurological and brain development
Even more importantly, synapses are being created and formed at a faster rate during these years than at any other time even if these connections are gradually eliminated throughout childhood and adolescence. This year’s most dramatic changes involve the brain’s language areas. These changes correspond to the sudden spike in children’s language abilities. During the second year, there is a major increase in the rate of myelination, which helps the brain perform more complex tasks.
Speech, language and communication
Now he moves from using single words to putting some of them together in a phrase. His understanding on what it is said to him is growing and he starts to express himself more: what he likes and what he doesn’t.
Personal, social and emotional
The child is now enjoying interaction with other familiar adults and becoming more independent. Although, he still becomes anxious when the main caregiver leaves.
Physically
Physically, the child, begins to walk without help and he enjoys exploring his abilities by climbing the furniture. He can assist with dressing and undressing and start to feed himself using a spoon or grasping tiny amounts of food.
2 years old – 3 years old
Cognition
During this period the baby is becoming more flexible with communication and is creating ideas and concepts like: space, classification and quantity. He is very curious and is beginning to sing simple rhymes.
Neurological and brain development
At age two or three, the brain has up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood. Synaptic density in the prefrontal cortex probably reaches its peak during the third year, up to 80 percent of its adult level. This region also continues to create and strengthen networks with other areas. As a result, complex cognitive abilities are being improved. At this stage, for example, children are better able to use the past to interpret present events. They also have more cognitive flexibility and a better understanding of cause and effect.
Speech, language and communication
There is a significant increase in vocabulary and multi word sentences take place. This is the time when the child starts to ask the question “why”. By his 3d birthday he is able to use around hundred words to communicate.
Personal, social and emotional
During this time, he shows a lot of emotions like laughing or crying and he enjoys praise when he has done something well. During this period he can develop a fear of animals and in this time he likes to help with simple chores.
Physically
Physically, the child is becoming very active. He can run, climb and manage to travel forward, backward or walk upstairs in alternate feet. One of his activities can be riding a tricycle. His fine motor skills are being improved by holding crayons to mark on papers.
3 years old – 5 years old
Cognition
This period of time is characterized by the building of confidence in every development area during this period the child knows his name and sex. He learns different concepts like “same” “different” and counting. He can remember part of a story and can recognize familiar colors. His communication abilities develop very quickly.
Neurological and brain development
Children require a lot of care and life experiences, before they can be independent. It is important to know that what parents do or don’t do during the formative years can have a profound impact on the child’s life and brain development. The brain has reach 90 percent of its adult level by the time the child starts kindergarten. While the brain is growing in size, it’s forming a billion of connections between cells that make the brain work.
Speech, language and communication
The child would typically be able to speak with more clarity. He is now able to talk in longer sentences, to tell a story, to ask questions and to count up to ten.
Personal, social and emotional
The child is not only becoming more independent physically, but also emotionally. Fewer tantrums take place when the caregiver leaves- and therefore preschool is less stressful for child and caregiver. It is noticeable that the child may now be able to cooperate with his or her friends, take turns, and may begin to show some problem-solving skills. He is more able to show his emotion and affection to familiar and friends.
Physical
He is running, climbing well and hopping. He is starting to use age-appropriate scissors, write some capital letter and he can dress and undress without help.
5 years old – 7years old
Cognitive
During this period, the child is easily learning how to count, draw and copy different shapes, better. He has some understanding on the use of money. He is developing his preferred activities and hobbies and is very cooperative with family and friends. New skills are being gained at school, e.g. reading and writing and simple numerical skills involving addition and subtraction.
Neurological and brain development
During the fifth year of life, the brain will be very close to adult size and volume.This doesn’t mean that the child know everything. The foundation for the skills and abilities children need for success at school and for life are result of experiences. What this growth means is that the structures of the brain involved in learning, memory, motor control, and every other brain function have been established by age 5. These structures and the neural pathways that send information between them get used and reused throughout life. These connections, called synapses, are the basis of all the movements, thoughts, memories, and feelings a person has.
Personal, social and emotional
The child feels more comfortable and confident spending time at other places without their parent or caregiver, such as a relative’s or friends’ house for example. They continue to develop their social skills by playing with other children in different situations choosing their own friends. They are expected to dress/undress themselves, show caring behaviors and have an understanding of rules and will argue. One of the activities that children like during this period is reading independently.
Language
Children’s writing and reading skills develop, usually beginning with writing their name and learning to talk fluently and confidently. Their vocabulary can be up to 3000 words and they asks many questions.
Physically
During this age the child is active and energetic. He enjoys dancing and it is expected that his fine motor skills will develop through writing, designing, tying things, constructing things especially arts and crafts.

2.2 Explain ‘holistic’ development

When a child is born he needs to be taken care of and needs support from other people to grow into the successful man or women everyone aims to be. This outcome requires special attention and active involvement of a variety of systems and elements in and out society. Holistic development refers to a child as a whole. This concept takes in to account every part of the child as being important and having influence on a child’s life. Family is the first environment the child is part of and where he should experience strong relationships that will impact his growth in many areas of development and should play a critical role in affecting young children’s well-being. It doesn’t take lot of time for the child to be part of other systems like siblings, other familiars, neighbors, kindergarten, school, friends and other various systems. It wouldn’t be realistic for the child to be seen separated from these elements because child development is a process that implies the interconnection and influence of these areas. When we want to help a child or invest in his life we need to be aware of his areas of development: emotional, physical, social, spiritual, cognitive and communication.
• Emotional development: The child starts to learn how to recognize, express and manage his feelings in different situations.
• Physical development is the way in which a child gains control over their physical actions, in particular, muscle movement and coordination. Developing gross and fine motor skills is another indicator for the child’s development.
• Social development: As part of different systems, the child needs and starts learning skills to socialize with other children and adults and to establish healthy relationships.
• Spiritual development refers to the child trying to answer concerns questions such as “what is the meaning and purpose of my life?” and “what is my future?” in a an appropriate level which child can understand.
• Cognitive development is the development of a child’s mind, the part of the brain responsible for processing information, memory, problem-solving and decision making, very important abilities which can help the child’s academic performance as he grows up.
• Language development: The child is learning the skills needed to communicate and is more than just talking: spoken words, written words and gestures.
It must be said that all children are different but they need to grow in the same areas of development, which impact and are impacted by one-another. Whilst the sequences are common on most children, the rate in which they develop these skills are often different.
On the other hand, according to Burnham et al (2010) the difference between the sequence of development and the rate of development is that the sequence refers to the normal or expected sequence in which children learn different skills.
For example, if a 5 years old child refuses to eat lunch at school doesn’t always mean the same thing. Maybe he is not hungry because he ate breakfast late or maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable with his friends. This is a simple example that makes me think of the importance of seeing the child as a whole, as the holistic perspective does.
Holistic Early Childhood Development Index (HECDI) Framework conceptual model, published by UNESCO, indicate that there are six main domains in a child live – health, nutrition, education, parental support, social protection and poverty alleviation– and three levels – policies and laws, programs and services, and child and family outcomes. These levels are indicated in three circle layers and at the center it is placed Child development outcomes. This information show that all of the areas work together to affect overall development in cognitive, social–emotional and physical domains.
With this in mind, people that work with children, should encourage what’s best for the child by letting them explore their environment rather than focusing on teaching them to do things. During work with children, the purpose is for them to live life to the fullest and creating them space and opportunities to develop their abilities, gifts and potential. This approach is significantly useful when we work with children as it helps us see the whole picture not only one side of it.

3. Explain biological and environmental factors which influence children’s development

Early child development is influenced by a wide variety of biological and environmental factors. There are many factors that influence child development, and if there is a good understanding of what children need to grow, then practitioners are able to address the needs. Every child deserves the opportunity to blossom.

1. Biological factors

• Gender- Boys and girls tend to develop and learn differently a fact that makes a difference between their developments and requires different approach toward them. Related to this, another factor is looking at gender stereotype and how society view women and men from various cultures.
• During childhood there is rapid development, particularly of the brain where connections between brain cells are being made and provide the necessary block for the future growth.


• Rate of development – the rate of development refers to the speed in which a child will develop his skills and the rate changes from one child to the other.
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2. Environmental factors

Family – The most important element of the environment for an infant is his primary caregiver. How the primary caregiver responds to the child shapes the early brain pathways and builds the foundation for future learning. Included in the family part, there is another factor that can affect child development which is marriage’s situation. By this I refer to some various situations. For example, being a single parent or being an adopted child, not only changes the family structure, but different dynamics impact on the child’s development. Opinions about the impact on a child development for children growing up in single parent families or for those that are fostered or adopted vary but as every family is unique and can develop and depend upon his own support systems. Broken relationship on the family, on the other hand, can have a negative effect on all domains of a child’s development. The effects of a broken family on a child’s development depend on numerous factors, including the age of the child, his personality and other family relationship.
Social networks: As the child grows up the way that other people treat him, other than the primary caregiver, affect his development. He will be part of kindergarten and school. These two important environments will affect child’s learning, thinking, dreaming abilities and will influence child’s view for himself and his self-esteem. The availability of good quality educational facilities within an environment is also important. For example, attending early childhood formal education is associated with improved childhood development because it affects his learning abilities, his desire to learn and will make space and provide opportunities for him to develop his potential. Children living in marginalized communities are less likely to have access to early childhood formal education facilities and benefit from them, which makes it harder to be part of communities and systems, without which a child will find it difficult to educate or create healthy relationships. This last bit links us with the next factor that can affect a child’s growth which is poverty.
Many children live in poverty because their parents do not have jobs. Poverty is creating more stress for parents and families, which can impact on the development of the child. It has negative impacts on children’s health, cognitive development, social, emotional and educational outcomes. These impacts are not just important for children’s future outcomes, poverty has detrimental effects on children in early childhood, especially as children grow older. The consequences of poverty—emotional issues, delayed development and lower academic achievement, among others—put a child behind peers who do not struggle with poverty. Poverty affects an increasing number of children (Jill Richards, 2017)

As I briefly mentioned in the first part of the question, being born with a special need can influence child’s development. It becomes difficult to help when there are no services offered or if they are, they’re not effectively coordinated. Working on this direction can create possibilities for a holistic development as the child grows up supported by the systems, he is part of.
Exercise – Regular physical activity helps your child develop in a range of ways: physical, emotional and mental. Regular physical activity helps develop child’s movement skills. It also, of course, helps bones become stronger and builds a healthy heart and stronger muscles. Exercise leads to improved motor skills, better thinking and problem-solving, stronger attention skills and improved learning. Exercise can reduce anxiety and improve relationships.
Diet – children’s nutrition plays a pivotal role in how kids grow up. Nutrition starts even before the child is born. Mothers’ nutrition during pregnancy impacts the brain development of the unborn child. It has an impact on the intellectual, emotional or behavior of the child. In fact, for the first two years, if the child doesn’t get adequate nutrition, they could show signs of becoming withdrawn, could be very less active and generally stay away from helping.
If they receive good quality of education Poor quality education and care can contribute to high stress levels for both staff and children and can have a negative influence on relationships at all levels