Assessment of Developmental Stages of a Child

The significance of milestones Milestones are usually grouped together in five major areas which are to be assessed during the growth and development of a child. They are: physical growth, cognitive development, language development, and sensory and motor development. The assessment of the physical development of a child is very important during the growth and development of a child from infancy to adolescence and also the later years, it helps in that it allows the parents of the child as well as health care workers to see if there are any abnormalities in the child during this period of time.

The assessment of the cognitive development of the child is also very important in order to detect if the child has any difficulties in learning, grasping and understanding concepts such as dyslexia. Social and emotional development should also be assessed in order to see how well the child can interact with peers and other persons in order to determine if the child has or will have a phobia in the later years of his or her development.

The study was conducted in the presence of a nine year old child where in all the following areas of development were observed physical development, cognitive development, and social and emotional development. The reason why this specific age was selected was because it would have provided more opportunity for the researcher to observe and assess the different areas of development vastly and on a wider scale. Letters were sent to the parents of the child explaining the reason of the research and the different areas that were being observed.

The researcher presented herself in a modest way so that the child would feel a sense of comfort while under observation. The study was conducted over a four day period where the following findings were observed. Day One On day one the area of focus was physical development. The writer started out by assessing Amanda (not her real name) who is nine years old, she weighs ninety pounds and measures 4feet 9inches. Being that she is nine years old, she has passed the some of her milestones which includes sitting up and rolling over.

The researcher also asked the parents of the child other questions such as; at what age did she start creeping? At what age did she start creeping? At what age she began sitting up on her own? Among a host of other questions pertaining to her growth and development physically. This was to find out if the child had any physical disabilities during her earlier stages of growing and developing. The writer further went on to investigate how much the child could follow instructions. As a result the child was then asked to get dressed both formally and informally.

The instructions were followed accordingly. She was able to dress herself properly; this allowed the researcher to see how well the child can follow instructions when given. She is able to understand, analyze and follow the directions when given. After looking at how the child followed instructions in regards to getting dressed, the researcher went on to observe how the child manipulated objects. This was done by placing the child in an area where different types of objects were present. She was able to differentiate between shapes and the objects that were present.

Jigsaw puzzles were solved, shapes were recognized and the child was able to identify other objects in and around the play area. This indicated that the child while at play displayed great sensory motor skills and can use them effectively; she also seems to be well alert and has a great sense of humor she also seems to deal with different types of situations how they ought to be dealt with. Day Two On day two the researcher’s main area of focus was on cognitive development, this area of focus is mainly linked to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development focuses on four stages. They are: sensory motor, pre operations, concrete operations and formal operations. Piaget observed that cognitive development refers to changes that occur in an individual’s cognitive structure, ability to process from childhood to adulthood. Piaget went on to state that at this stage (concrete operations 7-11), the child should be able to; conceptualize effectively, solve problems easily and create logics based on his or her cognitive experiences.

The child observed was able to have discussions on a more logical basis and gave positive responses. The child was able to sit with the researcher and have discussions about her life as a little girl. She was asked different questions such as; what she would like to become in the future? How big would she like her house to be? What type of car would she like to own? Among others, she gave positive responses and seems to be well prepared for her future.

She gave response such as; “I would like to become a doctor and have my own business running different from my career such as a super market or a toy store for little kids, I would also like to own a three story house with two Toyota motor vehicles and my house is going to be surrounded by some big pit bull dogs and will be under twenty four hour security protection”. The researcher noted how effective the child was able to use the English language. She speaks the English Language fluently for a child her age.

Many factors though is said to have contributed to this as the mother recalls that during her pregnancy, she read a lot. The child is provided with the proper printed resources and education friendly. The child is also provided with games that will enhance her memory she has both printed and electronically inclined games to enhance her memory. This type of environment enables her to gain the knowledge and necessary skills required to be able to: 1) reason effectively, 2) solve problems effectively, 3)explore the environment. 4) have a good memory.

The child was always corrected whenever she makes a mistake. Hence, the child has a full advantage of how to speak English language as to Creole which is dominant in her community. In Piaget’s theory of cognitive development the child has passed the first two stages which are sensory motor (stage one) and pre operations (stage two). The child is presently at the concrete operations which she is almost completed all the activities that are to be done at this stage effectively. Day Three and Four The area of focus on days three and four were social and emotional development.

Social and emotional development is a very important aspect of development in a child’s life. It is normally harder to pinpoint than other signs of development such as physical development. This area emphasizes many skills that increase self-awareness and self-regulation The researcher observed the child while she was interacting with some of her friends that came over to her house, since this was the most convenient to the researcher as well as to the child. Based on the observations the child seems to have communicated well and had no difficulty responding and interacting with her peers.

At play the child seemed to be enthused and played well with her friends. She seemed to be the leader of everything they did in their peer group and was always quick to correct her friends whenever any of them made any mistakes. This is a clear indication that Amanda has no difficulties when interacting with her peers, and also seem to have pleasure during interaction with others. During meal time, the researcher had the opportunity to sit with the family for a few minutes to observe Amanda at meal time.

She seems to have good etiquettes and knows how to conduct herself when she is around the table and was correcting her smaller sister when she did not conform to the table rules. She was also sharing with her parents what her teacher taught her at school about do’s and don’ts while sitting around the table at meal time. She was able to maneuver the knife and fork properly and she was enthused in sharing some of the family traditions and norms that were passed down to her by her family with the researcher she also gave her view point on them when asked.

She seems to have good communicating skills and enjoys interaction with her peers, family and also with others. When interacting with her friend she explained to them that she does not like to be shouted at also whenever her mother talks to her in a rough manner he goes to sit by herself and appears to be sad. Whenever her father comes in from work she normally runs to him and gives him a big hug. This shows that the child is emotionally attached to her parents.

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