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Child Observation Project
TECA 1354- Child Growth and Development
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Contessa Lake

Section One
I will be observing a child that is in the adolescence stage. I know that children in the adolescence stage are
physically capable of taking care of themselves and their motor functions should be close to being fully developed.
Their cognitive development should be at a phase where they are testing the boundaries of what they think is right
and wrong. Adolescent childrens social and emotional development should be around where they are worrying about
what others think about them. As for the language development for adolescents, their development should be
completely developed at this stage. I need to learn exactly what the milestones are for adolescents to better
understand where a child is in their development so I can pin point what they need help with in their development.
The family culture is not very religious or social. The familys ethnic practices are that of the Baptist religion.
The family does practice a lot of the Christian holidays and the Christian religion as my own family does. Their
family culture is very similar to my own because we practice the same religion and celebrate the same holidays. The
family is very close with each other and that is different from my own family which is not close with each other. I
would like to learn more about their culture to better understand the child so that I do not offend the child. I would
also like to see how families that are close to each other interacted with each other.

Section Two
The child I will be observing target age group is adolescence. For adolescents, their age range should be
experiencing puberty as well as gaining 25% of their final adult height (Pratt, 2005, p.30). Adolescents should now
be able to think logically and flexibly as well as having a new found ability to think about hypothetical situations
(Burns, 2008, p.11-17). Adolescents should also be developing ego identity which is a sense of who they are and
what they stand for (Rathus, 2010, p.276). The language development of adolescents should reach its peak and the
acquisition skill for a second language diminishes (Pratt, 2005, p.29). If a child in the adolescence stage is on target,
they will be at these areas in their development.

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Section Three
I will be observing Anna who is 13 and one month years of age. She weighs 107 pounds and she is 5 feet 6
inches tall. The family culture for her family is very close knit and very relaxed. The family goals are very simple by
just wanting her to graduate from high school. Her individual needs are not meet at school and at home, they deal
with it with lots of patients. Anna has recently been diagnosed with bipolar so the family is learning how to meet her
needs in this area. The family believes in God while Anna does not but the whole family believes that they should
treat everybody the same. What makes this family unique is that her grandparents are raising her and trying to get
her through school. To keep her interested in school, they put her in art and music which she enjoys. The family is
not interested in learning more about the different kinds of development or how to improve on the different areas of
developments because they believe she is developing fine.
The chart on the next page notes Annas height and weight compared to that of girls her age. I adapted the
chart from Centers for Disease Control and Promotion. Annas height and weight are marked in red.

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Section Four
I will be using one assessment tool that covers Anna's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development
for her age range for sections 4, 5, and 6. I also used the handout from American Academy of Pediatrics, given to the
grandparent, as a checklist for all areas in order to see where Anna was compared to the norm but did not use it as
my primary assessment. My primary assessment was pulled from Healthy Children website. This assessment is a
checklist that covers all areas of development and breaks it down so that you can better understand where the child is
in their development in each different area of development. This assessment tool can be used to observe a child in
their natural habitat without forcing the child to do anything that they do not want to. I chose this assessment because
it covers all areas of development and does not force a child to do anything against their will. The assessment tool I
used is on page 18 and the top of 19 in this paper.
Through my observation, I saw that the proportion of her body fat distribution has evened out which I notice
this through looking at pictures of her throughout her home. She has begun to develop breast and she has begun her
menstrual cycle. She talked a little about how she had started puberty and how it was affecting her physically which
is to be expected in her age. Gross and fine motor skills for Anna are completely developed which is expected for
adolescents her age. Anna was on track with her physical development during this observation.
I used my assessment checklist to see if Annas physical development was on track for her age. Anna
demonstrated that her basic gross and fine motor skills are fully developed by her ability to text on her phone, play
video games, and type on her computer (Pratt, 2005, p.31). Her physical development of her body is also on track
because she has started puberty which is shown by the development of breast, growth in height and the start of her
menstrual cycle (Pratt, 2005, p.30). Annas physical development is where it should be according to the research.
Section Five
As explained in in section four, I used the same assessment tool for this section to see where Annas cognitive
development was. Through observation, Anna showed that she bases her judgment off of concrete rules of right and
wrong as well as good and bad when she was playing a video game. When asked about the future, she replied that
she does not really think about it because she does not think about the future so she lives in the now not the future.
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When asked about complex issues like the elections and what she thought about them, she stated that she did not
really care much about them because they do not affect her. Her language skills are fully developed when she
communicates with family and friends. Anna was where she needed to be in her cognitive development.
Anna's cognitive and language development is on track for her age which was shown in the assessment
checklist used. She bases her judgments on concrete rules such as when she was playing a video game and made a
decision on what was good or bad to depict her actions (Pratt, 2005, p.31) which is part of her cognitive
development. She also demonstrated being in her cognitive development age range by thinking in the terms of the
present instead of the future (Pratt, 2005, p.31) when she was asked about the future. Her language development is
completely developed such as when she was able to communicate with family with ease and with correct
pronunciation (Pratt, 2005, p.31).
Section Six
As explained in in section four, I used the same assessment tool for this section to see where Annas social
and emotion development was. Anna was very self-sufficient through my observation and was very preoccupied by
her appearance while the observation was taking place which are a few of the key social development areas for
adolescents. Through further observation, she was very interested in the clothes that her friends wore which is also a
part of the social development for adolescents. This shows that Anna is on track for social development for her age.
Annas emotional development also seems to be on track because she had moody behavior and the need for privacy
while being observed. She also tried to show off while being observed by challenging her grandparents. Annas
social and emotional development is on par with her age range.
Anna emotional and social development is where it should be for adolescents according to the assessment
checklist used. When Anna said that she wanted to be alone and was being very moody during the observation when
she was auguring with her grandparents, it showed that her emotional involvement was in her age range (Pratt, 2005,
p.31). Anna social development is where it should be such as when she was more interested in what her friends
thought about her and wore then what she thought about herself (Pratt, 2005, p.32).
Section Seven
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Through my observation and research for children in the adolescence stage, I have learned that Anna is on par
for her age range. Even though she has been diagnosed with bipolar, she is still developmentally within her age
range. I learned that adolescents are going through puberty at her age and have their basic fine and gross motor skills
fully developed in their physical development. They base their judgments off of right and wrong, think more about
the present than the future, and their language skills are fully developed in their cognitive development stage. Finally,
I learned that their social and emotional development consist of moody behavior, need for privacy, show off,
becoming self-sufficient, preoccupied by appearance, and are influence by peers. The assessment checklist helped
show that the grandparents were right when they said that Anna was developing just fine in all areas of development.
I have learned through this observation that even being diagnosed with a disorder does not mean that the
child will be lacking in their development. Also, I learned that it is in adolescence where language, gross motor
skills, and find motor skills are fully developed and are no longer being developed. I would like to learn more about
how disorders affect certain stages of development if they even do it all. I plan on researching more about how
disorders like bipolar affect adolescents in their development. I will do this by researching more articles on bipolar
and adolescence.
Section Eight
Learning Prescription
Anna is an amazing young adult and I would like to thank you for allowing me to observe your child. In this
learning prescription, I have included some ideas that may help with Anna's development. Your family was very
warm and inviting. Your family and Anna are truly amazing people which made this a great experience.

Physical Development Learning Prescription


Throughout my observation, I use a checklist to assess Annas physical development for the family. The
results of the assessment were that Anna is on track for her physical development. Anna gross and fine motor skills
are fully developed which is to be expected of adolescents. Dancing and listening to music which I observed does
help strengthen her motor skills which are already fully developed. As you stated in the interview that you did not
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think there was anything else to improve on was shown in my observation as well. Although Annas physical
development is on track for her age, I would suggest putting her into a dance class where she could have more of an
opportunity to hone her gross and fine motor skills a little bit better while keeping her physically active.
Cognitive development learning prescription
I used a checklist to assess Anna's cognitive and language development throughout the observation. I learned
that Anna is on track with her cognitive development and my assessment showed that as well. As stated in the
interview, she does show that she uses right and wrong to determine how she will act which was demonstrated when
she was playing a video game. Her language development is also on track for her age which is fully developed. As
stated in the interview, I observe that she needs to strengthen being self-sufficient but I did observe that she can be
self-sufficient at certain times like when she will make food for herself when she is hungry. An activity I would
recommend to help Anna become more self-sufficient would be to allow her to cook a family meal once a week to
help her become more self-sufficient.
Social and Emotional Development Learning Prescription
Annas social and emotional developments are very good for her age range. I used a checklist to assess her
during my observation for her social and emotional development. I learned that Anna is on track socially and
emotionally for her age range. She is doing everything to be expected for her age range socially and emotionally. I do
not have any recommendations to improve her emotional and social development because she is doing very well for
her age. An activity I would recommend for Anna to do to help her practice on her patience level would be setting a
long term goal like working for the Pokmon game she wants. This would help her learn to wait and work towards
the goal of getting the game which will help with her patience level and appreciation. Anna is doing well in her
development which is wonderful.
Community Resources
During the interview, you express that you would like to get Anna into a reading club to help her with her
patience level. The W. Walworth Harrison public library in Greenville, Texas has a free reading club as well as a one-

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time membership fee of $20. The reading club is on Thursdays at 4 PM during the summer and winter breaks. Their
phone number is 903-457-2992 and their address is:
W. Walworth Harrison Public Library
#1 Lou Finney Lane
Greenville, TX 75401
Again let me thank you for allowing me into your lovely home and for allowing me to observe Anna. If you
have any questions please feel free to contact me. Anna is doing well in her development and is a wonderful young
lady.

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Bibliography
Centers for Disease Control and Promotion. 2 to 20 years: Girls stature-for-age and weight-for-age percentiles.
(2010). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/

Davis, S., & Buskist, W. (2008). Childhood and adolescence. In S. Burns (Eds.), 21st century psychology: A
reference handbook (pp. 11-16-11-25). Retrieved from
http://dx.doi.org.library.collin.edu/10.4135/9781412956321

Healthychildren. Stages of adolescence. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/agesstages/teen/Pages/Stages-of-Adolescence.aspx

Rathus, S. A. (2011). CDEV. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Salkind, N. (2005). Adolescence. In H. Pratt (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Development (pp. 29-36). Retrieved
from http://dx.doi.org.library.collin.edu/10.4135/9781412952484

Texas Childrens Pediatrics. Normal development: Early adolescence (12 to 14 years old). (2014). Retrieved from
http://www.texaschildrenspediatrics.org/12-14-Years/

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Interview- Handout from American Academy of Pediatrics


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Stages of Adolescence
Adolescence, these years from puberty to adulthood, may be roughly divided into three stages: early
adolescence, generally ages eleven to fourteen; middle adolescence, ages fifteen to seventeen; and late adolescence,
ages eighteen to twenty-one. In addition to physiological growth, seven key intellectual, psychological and social
developmental tasks are squeezed into these years. The fundamental purpose of these tasks is to form ones own
identity and to prepare for adulthood.
Physical Development
Puberty is defined as the biological changes of adolescence. By mid-adolescence, if not sooner, most
youngsters physiological growth is complete; they are at or close to their adult height and weight, and are now
physically capable of having babies.
Intellectual Development
Most boys and girls enter adolescence still perceiving the world around them in concrete terms: Things are
right or wrong, awesome or awful. They rarely set their sights beyond the present, which explains younger teens
inability to consider the long-term consequences of their actions.
By late adolescence, many youngsters have come to appreciate subtleties of situations and ideas, and to
project into the future. Their capacity to solve complex problems and to sense what others are thinking has sharpened
considerably. But because they are still relatively inexperienced in life, even older teens apply these newfound skills
erratically and therefore may act without thinking.
Emotional Development
If teenagers can be said to have a reason for being (besides sleeping in on weekends and cleaning out the
refrigerator), it would have to be asserting their independence. This demands that they distance themselves from
Mom and Dad. The march toward autonomy can take myriad forms: less overt affection, more time spent with
friends, contentious behavior, pushing the limitsthe list goes on and on. Yet adolescents frequently feel conflicted
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about leaving the safety and security of home. They may yo-yo back and forth between craving your attention, only
to spin away again.
Social Development
Until now, a childs life has revolved mainly around the family. Adolescence has the effect of a stone dropped
in water, as her social circle ripples outward to include friendships with members of the same sex, the opposite sex,
different social and ethnic groups, and other adults, like a favorite teacher or coach. Eventually teenagers develop the
capacity for falling in love and forming romantic relationships.
Not all teenagers enter and exit adolescence at the same age or display these same behaviors. Whats more,
throughout much of adolescence, a youngster can be farther along in some areas of development than in others. For
example, a fifteen-year-old girl may physically resemble a young adult but she may still act very much like a child
since it isnt until late adolescence that intellectual, emotional and social developments begin to catch up with
physical development.
Is it any wonder that teenagers sometimes feel confused and conflicted, especially given the limbo that
society imposes on them for six to ten years, or longer? Prior to World War II, only about one in four youngsters
finished high school. It was commonplace for young people still in their teens to be working full-time and married
with children. Today close to three in four youngsters receive high-school diplomas, with two in five graduates going
on to college. As more and more teens have extended their education, says Dr. Joseph Rauh, a specialist in
adolescent medicine since the 1950s, the age range of adolescence has been stretched into the twenties.
Reflect back on your own teenage years, and perhaps youll recall the frustration of longing to strike out on
your ownbut still being financially dependent on Mom and Dad. You were striving to be your own person yet at
the same time wanting desperately to fit in among your peers.
Adolescence can be a confusing time for parents, too. For one thing, they must contend with their childrens
often paradoxical behavior. How is it that the same son given to arias about saving the rain forest has to be nagged
repeatedly to sort the recycling? Or that in the course of an hour your daughter can accuse you of treating her like a
baby, then act wounded that you would expect her to clear the table after dinner?

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But beyond learning to anticipate the shifting currents of adolescent emotion, mothers and fathers may be
struggling with some conflicting emotions of their own. The pride you feel as you watch your youngster become
independent can be countered by a sense of displacement. As much as you may accept intellectually that
withdrawing from ones parents is an integral part of growing up, it hurts when the child who used to beg to join you
on errands now rarely consents to being seen in public with you, and then only if the destination is a minimum of one
area code away.
Its comforting to know that feeling a sense of loss is a normal responseone that is probably shared by half
the moms and dads standing next to you at soccer practice. For pediatricians, offering guidance and advice to parents
makes up a considerable and rewarding part of each day.
Source- Adapted from Caring for Your Teenager (Copyright 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics). The
information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your
pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts
and circumstances.
*This handout was adapted from Healthy Children website.

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Assessment Tool Documentation Checklists


Checklists for Physical, Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Development used with Anna
My primary checklist:
Physical Development

Changes in fat distribution

Breast development

Start of menstrual period

Are gross and fine motor skills fully developed


Emotional Development
May have moody behavior.
Struggles with sense of identity.
Is sensitive and has a need for privacy.
Is anxious due to increased social and academic stresses.
Starts to look for loving relationships outside of family.
May become opinionated and challenge family rules and values.
May try to "show-off."
Social Development
Becomes increasingly self-sufficient.
Usually seeks out friends with beliefs and values similar to those of his or her family.
May be preoccupied by appearance.
Influenced by peers about clothes and interests.
May be influenced by peers to try risky behaviors (alcohol, tobacco, sex).
Cognitive Development
Mostly bases judgments on concrete rules of right and wrong, good or bad.
Thinks in terms of the present rather than the future.
May start to think abstractly and about complex issues.
Language skill are fully developed

*This was adapted from Texas Childrens Pediatrics website.

My second checklist:
Physical Development
Puberty is defined as the biological changes of adolescence.
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By mid-adolescence, if not sooner, most youngsters physiological growth is complete; they are at or close to
their adult height and weight, and are now physically capable of having babies.
Intellectual Development
Most boys and girls enter adolescence still perceiving the world around them in concrete terms: Things are
right or wrong, awesome or awful.
They rarely set their sights beyond the present, which explains younger teens inability to consider the longterm consequences of their actions.
By late adolescence, many youngsters have come to appreciate subtleties of situations and ideas, and to
project into the future.
Their capacity to solve complex problems and to sense what others are thinking has sharpened considerably.
Older teens apply these newfound skills erratically and therefore may act without thinking.

Emotional Development
If teenagers can be said to have a reason for being (besides sleeping in on weekends and cleaning out the
refrigerator), it would have to be asserting their independence. This demands that they distance themselves
from Mom and Dad. The march toward autonomy can take myriad forms: less overt affection, more time
spent with friends, contentious behavior, pushing the limitsthe list goes on and on. Yet adolescents
frequently feel conflicted about leaving the safety and security of home. They may yo-yo back and forth
between craving your attention, only to spin away again.
Social Development
Adolescence has the effect of a stone dropped in water, as her social circle ripples outward to include
friendships with members of the same sex, the opposite sex, different social and ethnic groups, and other
adults, like a favorite teacher or coach.
Eventually teenagers develop the capacity for falling in love and forming romantic relationships.

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Not all teenagers enter and exit adolescence at the same age or display these same behaviors. Whats more,
throughout much of adolescence, a youngster can be farther along in some areas of development than in
others. For example, a fifteen-year-old girl may physically resemble a young adult but she may still act very
much like a child since it isnt until late adolescence that intellectual, emotional and social developments
begin to catch up with physical development.
*This handout was adapted from Healthy Children website.

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Artwork Made by Anna

*This
is a piece of
artwork
Anna made
for school as
her
Halloween
mask for a
social party.
This shows
her physical
development
as she cuts
paper into a
mask and her
social
development
as she is
using the
mask in a
party.

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*This is
a piece
of
artwork
Anna
made
for art
class
using
pages
from an
old
book
she had
read.
This
shows
her
physical

development as she is able to draw and her cognitive development as it had to be an old book she read.

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The End
Child Observation Project
Contessa Lake

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