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:CAD lesson 1

Understanding children from birth to three years Usually, the schools interest in child development starts with KG or kindergarten; however, there are strong reasons for understanding the newborn, the baby, and the toddler. The early years form a foundation for learning that is basic for all the grades. Children who miss steps in development may be delayed in one or more aspects necessary to learning and never catch up. For example, babies who are not talked to may have a language delay; babies who are malnourished may have multiple development delays; and babies who are not shown love and affection may exhibit antisocial behavior. Schools come in contact with many parents with multiple children. Teachers are often asked questions about the development of younger children when they talk to parents. The school and teachers can have a positive effect on young children by providing information that will help parents in nurturing their children. Some schools work with hospitals in their area by distributing brochures and pamphlets on childcare. A few schools have even created day care centers for the children of their staff. The caretakers in these centers would benefit from understanding the developmental stages and needs of young children. Beginning with the babies, the school can provide an environment that supports the growth of students through all the grades. The first stage in development has varied in length from birth to 2 years to birth to 3 years. Many researchers use the first two years as a separate stage because of the amount of growth and change that takes place during that time. Others add in year 3 to allow for the individual differences in children. For this course, the beginning stage will be from birth to 3 years. What are the milestones for development? A developmental milestone is a skill that a child acquires within a specific time frame. For instance, one developmental milestone is learning to walk. Most children learn this skill or developmental milestone between the ages of 9 and 15 months. Milestones develop in a sequential fashion. This means that a child will need to develop some skills before he or she can develop new skills. For example, children must first learn to crawl and to pull up to a standing position before they are able to walk. That does not mean that the child will spend a long time crawling. He/she may move through that stage quickly. Each milestone that a child acquires builds on the last milestone developed. There is probably no other stage where parents, grandparents, and other relatives are so concerned with milestones. It begins with the description of the baby at birth. Everyone wants to know the weight of the baby. They ask how long he/she is. Does he/she have hair? These statistics about the newborn are then compared with other newborns in the family. Grandmother remembers that the father weighed even more or was not as long. The important members of the newborns community focus on the characteristics he/she possesses. That is only the beginning. The baby is compared to others regarding when he/she smiles and whether it is a real smile or just colic. From then everyone checks for when he/she sits up alone, gets a tooth, stands, and begins walking. Discussing the foods the baby likes is a common topic for new mothers. Everyone is excited when the baby coos and babbles, but may record in baby books when he/she says that first word. The most disagreement and stress focuses on toilet training. Every member of the family has an opinion and an example for that topic. This focus on milestones is helpful for parents and doctors as a way to assess whether children are developing as expected. Doctors know averages and can help the parents understand the normal ranges of development for individual children. A baby may be early on some milestones and later on others and still be within normal ranges.

Common milestones Common Milestones Birth - 3 Months


Recognizes parent Turns head side to side Smiles and chuckles Makes cooing sounds Holds rattle for 5-10 seconds Shows pleasure or discomfort Can lift head

3 - 6 Months

Holds rattle briefly Holds head steady Quiets at the sound of a familiar voice Watches own hands and surrounding objects Rolls from back to side Sits supported in a high chair Babbles and laughs Smiles back if smiled at Waves, shakes, bangs and looks at a rattle toy

6 - 9 months

Can hold head up and can roll from back to stomach Reaches for a toy and transfers toy from one hand to the other Makes sounds for specific reasons Helps hold bottle while drinking and can use a cup with help Crawls and begins to pull up to a standing position Holds arms out to be picked up Can feed self Understands no

9 - 12 Months

Can sit up, creep or crawl on belly and can pull up to stand Enjoys looking at picture books Will repeat actions to get a laugh Gives hugs Can crawl fast and sit without support Begins to stand alone and can take a few steps Waves bye-bye and plays pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo Feeds self cookies or crackers Jabbers with different voice levels

12 - 15 months

Turns pages of a book Can build a tower of 2-3 blocks Begins to say words Prefers some toys over others Can use a spoon

Helps when getting dressed Can climb stairs on hands and knees

15 - 18 months

Can take off shoes and socks and other clothes with some help Sits in a chair without help Picks up tiny objects with thumb and index finger Explores drawers/cabinets Sits in a chair without help

18 - 21 Months

Speaks in two word sentences Calls self by name Starts to be possessive (mine) Will point to things if asked Handles cup well Holds crayon (in fist) and can keep scribbles on piece of paper

21 - 24 Months

Can use words to make wants known Walks well without help Plays by self Speaks several words Shows independence Holds a glass in one hand

24 - 30 Months

Jumps from bottoms step or low heights Dries hands without help Draws lines, circles and other shapes Points to body parts

30 - 36 Months Undresses completely without help Holds pencil between thumb and index finger Walks up and down stairs holding railing What are typical behaviors of children from birth to 3 years? Birth to one year The newborn is entirely helpless like many other baby mammals. Survival and growth depends on the care of his/her parents. He/she is not interested in others at birth, crying only if hungry, too cold or too warm, wet, or uncomfortable in some way. Crying is the main form of communication and parents quickly learn to understand the differences among the cries. The newborn seems to change on a daily basis. By three months, the baby turns his or her head towards voices and other sounds. He/she recognizes parents' voices and expresses contentment by smiling and cooing. At four to six months, the baby notices new sounds and responds to "no" and changes in tone of voice. He/she pays attention to music. When playing alone or with parents, he/she makes gurgling sounds. He/she uses sounds or gestures to get things. At seven months to one year, the infant recognizes his/her name and other common words such as bottle, cup, and ball. He/she listens and responds to requests like "Come here." The infant is imitating sounds

and uses a few words such as bye-bye or dada. The foundation for reading is started as the baby learns vocabulary and concepts. One to two years The child now is able to listen to simple stories and follow commands such as Throw the ball. He/she loves silly rhymes. He/she can point to body parts and pictures in a book. His/her vocabulary is increasing and can combine some words into two word sentences. He/she is becoming very independent and uses the word no when asked to do something he/she doesnt want to do. He/she helps when getting dressed, but often takes clothes off to go natural. Two to three years For two or three year olds, the world is a big and complicated place. They are trying to understand the 'rules' and how it all makes sense. Their world is a mixture of real and imagined because they fill in what they dont know. It is important that adults be careful about adult talk around toddlers as their understanding of words is beyond their understanding of the world. They could become worried hearing conversations about relationships. Language is developing very quickly and they will start to communicate through conversations. The more they get their messages across, the more they will want to communicate. Adults should be aware of their language and not paint a negative picture of the world. Excessive use of no or dont will have a powerful effect on the childrens view of themselves and the world. Toddlers want to find out about themselves and what they want and don't want. They can wait a little while but not for long. They can hold their strong feelings inside a little bit, but their feelings can easily burst out in a rush of excitement, fear, and frustration. Losing control of such big feelings can be very frightening for them and they need lots of physical contact and reassurance that they are loved.

What does research say about development from birth to three years? The physical changes during this stage are the most dramatic. Babies are born with their heads proportionally larger than their bodies when compared to adults. By thirteen months the proportions are more like adults. By 5 months, the babies have doubled their birth weight and by one year, tripled it. Their bones harden as they absorb calcium and their baby teeth grow. Various stages have been identified to explain other aspects of infant development. Piaget identified birth to 2 years as the sensor motor stage where the children develop their senses and motor skills. They learn to process sounds and visual stimuli. They learn about various tastes and touch. These early experiences form their understanding of the world and help them create attachments. Securely attached children have long attention spans; show more cooperation; and demonstrate higher levels of competence. Stages of attachment were identified as the following:

Initial pre-attachment phase (birth to 3 months); indiscriminate attachment Attachment-in-the-making phase (3-4 months) Clear-cut-attachment phase (6-7 months); accompanied by fear of strangers for some babies

The early levels identified show the importance of the baby developing an attachment from birth. The results are negative and usually irreversible if a baby does not form attachments as an infant. Babies are born with the ability to speak any language. They listen to the sounds made by their families and, after a few months, mimic those sounds. The brain eventually prunes the ability to make the special sounds of different languages. During the first two years, the child mostly listens and absorbs what he/she hears. He/she can differentiate a womans voice from a mans and within a few weeks will show a preference for his/her mothers voice over other womens voices. Soon after, he/she will prefer his/her fathers voice over the voices of other men (Herzog). Many factors affect the rate at which a child develops language. Sometimes language development slows down while a child is learning other skills, such as standing or walking. The bulk of the child's concentration and energy may be going to gross motor development and thus there is little reserve energy for language. Birth order has been suggested as an important factor in child development. Many comparisons have been made among the first born, the middle child, and the youngest child. Most of the differences revolve around the amount of time and energy that parents have to care for a baby or a toddler. The characteristics are on achievement, personality, and social behavior. There are still differing views on how birth order is important and whether it impacts child development. Erik Erikson (Harvard) has developed Psychosocial Stages of Development that describe the psychological and social stage of the different age groups. He believes that the stage from birth to one year is important because the baby is building a trusting relationship with the world. The next stage from one to three years is when they develop confidence and independence.

What are the implications for parents and caregivers? It must be apparent that parents and caregivers are crucial to the development of the infant and toddler. They must begin by talking to and playing with the baby. These activities begin the development of the babys language. Even though they may not respond in the beginning, the parents must talk to them as if they understand. The baby will build an attachment to the parents and the caregivers if the experiences are positive. The parents must be responsive to the needs of the baby by feeding him/her when hungry and cuddling when he/she is tired and uncomfortable. Allowing the child to develop skills and become independent is important to development. They learn by practicing and doing things that may be messy at first. For example, when a child begins using a spoon to eat, much of the food may not get into his/her mouth. With practice and encouragement, they learn to control their movements. As they become skillful, they build confidence in their abilities. Pre-reading skills can be taught during this stage. It should be done like a game and not in a rigid, memorizing way. The following strategies will help the child build a foundation for the reading skills taught in school: Developing vocabulary by teaching them the names of things Making them aware of print and how to handle a book Reading books to them often Teaching them that letters are different from each other and helping them recognize letters everywhere Playing with the smaller sounds in words Helping develop an interest in books Encouraging them to describe things and events and tell stories

The pattern and sequence of development is the same for all children. However, each child is absolutely different from the other. Some children are quick to learn things and some are very slow. Some are active while others are not. Individual differences in children result from the fact that the hereditary potential, the environmental stimulation, and the interaction is unique for every child. Parents and caregivers can have an impact on the environment and the interactions that children experience.