2.6 Understanding stages of development

Activity 2.2: Understanding stages of development

  1. Look at the following list of activities and developments and place each one in the appropriate column in the table below.
    • Still think in concrete terms
    • Become increasingly separate from parents and seek acceptance from teachers
    • Become more involved with friends
    • More able to control the use of their hands and fingers
    • Sometimes moody and disengaged
    • Begin to recognise and respond to their primary caregivers
    • Begin to understand and assert a sense of self
    • Cannot engage in purposeful activities
    • Able to consider several parts to a problem or situation
    • Start to roll over from their back to their front
    • Recognise letters and numbers, colours, shapes and textures
    • Have an emerging interest in sexual activity
    • Begin to ask questions – why, what, who?
    • Able to put 2–3 words into phrases
    • Struggle with a sense of identity
    • Feel under pressure to conform to the style and ideals of the peer group
    • Desire for greater privacy
    • Not yet able to engage more directly in social forms of play or interaction
    • Acquire a capacity for abstract thought
    • Develop a sense of humour
    • Develop the ability to think through the consequences of their actions
    • Peer group can place an increasingly influential role on their lives
0–2 years2–5 years6–10 yearsAdolescence

  1. List three ways in which you think the relationship between a child and his or her parents will change during adolescence.

When you have finished the activity, compare your answers with those at the end of the study session.

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Activity 2.3: Case study

Samuel is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother. His mother passed away when Samuel was 3 months old. Samuel started to support his head and sit unsupported at the age of 6 months. His grandmother started to feed him a supplementary diet to make sure he doesn’t go through nutritional deficiency and end up being malnourished. Samuel started to crawl at 9 months and still crawls at the age of 2 years. Samuel has not yet started to walk, and he doesn’t speak any words. His grandmother knows he’s hungry whenever he cries out loud continuously, since he doesn’t point at food when he wants to eat. She is worried about his developmental progress since she has had experience raising Samuel’s mother. So she decides to take him to a nearby health facility.

Imagine you are the health care provider at the health facility. Try to identify the normal and delayed developments of 2-year-old Samuel.

Compare your answers with the discussion at the end.

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A number of factors in Samuel’s development might give you cause for concern. His early development appeared to be normal. His ability to sit up unaided and to start crawling were well within the ‘normal’ age range for these activities. However, the fact that he is still crawling at 2 years old might indicate he does have some problem with his mobility. In addition, his failure as yet to begin to form any words might also be a worry, although children’s language development can vary significantly from child to child. It would be helpful to know if he understands words but is not yet using them. You might ask his grandmother how much she talks to Samuel and how he responds. His failure to point to food or show any means of communicating hunger other than crying may indicate that he is not yet able to make the link between hunger and food. Given these concerns, it would be important as soon as possible to get Samuel further assessed to find out more about both his movement and mobility and his communication. He might need referring to a local hospital where there are specialists who can assess, for example, his speech, his muscular development, his hearing, and his cognitive development. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the more likely it will be that he can get the necessary support and help to encourage his proper development.

2.7 Promoting children’s evolving capacities